In a lengthy Facebook post on Monday, a “deeply saddened” Cannon explained that he’s decided to part ways with NBC — and possibly the entertainment industry as a whole — after he allegedly received backlash from the network over a joke he made during a recent stand-up special on Showtime.
“Sometimes I wish I could say the stuff I really want to say,” Cannon said during his special. “Y’all see my face on America’s Got Talent? Like, this next crazy motherf–er coming to the stage gonna be juggling blindfolded with knives and s–t, so n–as be careful! But I can’t say that. I can’t talk like that. That would mess up the white money.” (You can watch the full, uncensored joke here.)
When Cannon received word that NBC was allegedly considering firing him as a result of his rant, he decided to pull his own plug.
“There is no amount of money worth my dignity or my integrity,” Cannon writes on Facebook. “I have loved hosting America’s Got Talent for the last eight seasons. Watching talented, brave and courageous Americans accomplish their dreams in front of millions has been nothing but a joy, and everyone has been a pleasure to work with — but my soul won’t allow me to be in business with corporations that attempt to frown on freedom of speech, censor artists, and question cultural choices.”
He finishes, “I wish AGT and NBC the best in its upcoming season, but I can not see myself returning,” he adds. “As of lately I have even questioned if I want to even be a part of an industry who ultimately treats artists in this manner. Most of us don’t realize that there are six major corporations that control 90 percent of media in America and the amount of minority executives is dismal. With this being the case, true equality in our industry is impossible.”
TVLine has reached out to NBC for comment.
America’s Got Talent is expected to return for Season 12 this summer with all of its judges — Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Mel B. and Heidi Klum — returning. Will you miss Cannon? Drop a comment with your thoughts on this whole ordeal below.