Posted: 8:30 am Tuesday, February 14th, 2017
By Eric "Hollywood" Davis STAR 94.5
Well, that’s one way to quit your job. On Monday, Nick Cannon took to social media to announce that he was bowing out of his gig as the host of the hit TV show America’s Got Talent after he learned network executives were considering firing him over a racial joke he told during his Showtime comedy special Stand Up, Don’t Shoot.
“I write this from a deeply saddened and dolorous mindset. After days of deliberating over some extremely disappointing news that I was being threatened with termination by Executives because of a comedy special that was only intended to bring communities closer together, I was to be punished for a joke,” he began in a post on Facebook (and Instagram). “This has weighed heavy on my spirit. It was brought to my attention by my ‘team’ that NBC believed that I was in breach of contract because I had disparaged their brand. In my defense, I would ask how so? Or is this just another way to silence and control an outspoken voice who often battles the establishment.” Cannon went on to say that he had been warned that something like this might happen.
“Recently many of my mentors have cautioned me that soon ‘The System’ would come down on me because I was speaking too many truths and being to loud about it. I had no idea that it all would hit so close to home,” he explained.
According to The Wrap, this was the contentious joke from the special: “I grew up like a real n*****. But I honestly believe, once I started doing America’s Got Talent, they took my real n***** card. They did! Because then, like, these type of people started showing up to my shows.” Cannon allegedly then pointed to three white audience members sitting in the front row. “I can’t do the real n***** stuff no more, because then they’ll put me on TMZ.”
Cannon’s post continued: “I find myself in a dark place having to make a decision that I wish I didn’t have to, but as a man, an artist, and a voice for my community I will not be silenced, controlled or treated like a piece of property. There is no amount of money worth my dignity or my integrity.” He went on to say that despite the sour ending, he had truly enjoyed his stint on the show.
“I have loved hosting AMERICAS GOT TALENT for the last 8 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 shared.
“I love art and entertainment too much to watch it be ruined by controlling corporations and big business,” he concludes. “I believe it’s our duty as artists to make a difference and create change even if it’s one act at a time. Dr. King said it best, ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.'”