Nick Cannon is leaving “America’s Got Talent” after NBC executives threatened to fire him over a racial joke he made in a recent comedy special he did for Showtime. In case you missed it, the joke in question was, “I honestly believe, once I started doing ‘America’s Got Talent,’ they took my real [n-word] card. They did…I can’t do the real [n-word] stuff no more, because then they’ll put me on TMZ.” 

The network felt like Nick’s joke “disparaged their brand.” He felt like he was being silenced. He addressed the issue in a Facebook post. He said, “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… I will not stand for it. My moral principles will easily walk away from the millions of dollars they hang over my head.” 

Nick said that while he wishes the show and the network the best, he won’t be there for Season 12. So far, NBC hasn’t commented.