'America's Got Talent' reportedly wants to keep Nick Cannon but won't hold him to contract, he insists he's done
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/15/2017
America's Got Talent executives reportedly want to keep Nick Cannon on the show but they won't hold him to his contract if he absolutely insists on leaving.
According to production sources with knowledge of the situation, America's Got Talent and NBC are hoping Cannon has a change of heart before the Summer 2017 edition. As for right now, they aren't looking for a new host to replace him, TMZ reported.
However, Cannon appears to be holding firm in his decision to leave the series due to being "publicly reprimanded and ridiculed" by his NBC bosses over a joke made in a recent TV comedy special.
After hosting America's Got Talent for eight seasons, Cannon stated on Facebook earlier this week that although it "hurts tremendously" to walk away from a show he loves, he must go through with it for the sake of his self respect.
TMZ caught up with Cannon at the airport in Los Angeles and paparazzi asked, "Any chance you'll go back [to AGT]?"
"Nope!" Cannon yelled.
And when questioned on whether he's certain about that choice, Cannon replied, "for sure."
NBC reportedly won't be suing Cannon for breach of contract. The sources claimed Cannon was great to work with on the set of America's Got Talent and the whole crew has become a family so he's likely going through something personal in his life, which may be playing a role in his emotional outburst.
"I wish AGT and NBC the best in its upcoming season but I can not see myself returning... 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," Cannon said in his statement.
"I was to be punished for a joke... NBC believed that I was in breach of contract because I had disparaged their brand... 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."
Cannon's joke that allegedly "disparaged" the AGT and NBC brand has not been confirmed; however, Cannon joked during the Showtime comedy special "Stand Up, Don't Shoot," which aired last Friday, that fans would see a different side to him than his onstage persona as host of America's Got Talent.
"This is going to be a little bit different tonight," Cannon said in the comedy special, according to CNN. "You thought you were going to get the tight suits with the shiny shoes... I'm going to use some different language than what you're used to hearing on the show."
Cannon then jokingly replaced the N in the acronym for NBC with the N-word and quipped that his hosting gig on the show hurt his credibility in the black community.
"I grew up like a real n----r, all that stuff, but I honestly believe once I stated doing America's Got Talent, they took my real n----r card," Cannon said.
NBC got wind of the comment when Cannon promoted the special on The Howard Stern Show, TMZ reported. The network reportedly viewed his skit as a violation of his contract since he's not allowed to talk about NBC without approval and he was "nearly fired" for it.