Derick E. Hingle, USA Today

Nick Cannon Leaving "America's Got Talent" After Controversial Joke

By Joe Hyer

February 13, 2017

Nick Cannon is not expected to return to the upcoming season of the hit NBC show "America's Got Talent," and looks like this is all because of a joke he told during a television special. NBC, however, did not appear to be in a rush to fire him. So this seems like it is a case of Cannon leaving under his own terms. 

Cannon, who has hosted the show for the past 7 seasons, apparently told a told a racially charged joke (about NBC) during a Showtime special that aired this past weekend. Reports say that he used the acronym of "NBC" to incorporate a racial slur. In a Facebook post that he shared on Monday, Cannon says that NBC executives felt like these jokes violated his relationship with the network. 

However, TMZ reported last week that NBC would be willing to let the joke slide, and that they viewed it as being a "passing comment." It seems now, however, that Cannon has decided to leave the show anyway. 

“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?," he wrote on Facebook. 

Cannon went on to say that he blamed himself for signing the contract in the first place, but he didn't see a future with the hit show if he wasn't able to pursue his comedy. "I now have to set out on a journey of freedom as an artist. As I was quoted in a recent interview, ‘You can’t fire a Boss’ and that is the essence that I possess. So I wish AGT and NBC the best in its upcoming season but I can not see myself returning," he said in Monday's lengthy Facebook post.

NBC has not publicly commented on the situation as of Monday afternoon. The upcoming season of "America's Got Talent" is expected to begin shooting next month.