Nick Cannon Explains His Decision to Leave ‘America’s Got Talent’: ‘Stand for Something’

Nick Cannon didn’t leave America’s Got Talent on a whim. The former host told Entertainment Tonight on Friday, March 10, that he left the show because he felt his artistic abilities were being restricted.

“When people start to put restraints on my creativity, as an artist, I just have to stand on my square and stand for something,” Cannon explained of his departure. “I’ve never operated for monetary gain. Money isn’t one of the things that moves me or inspires me. … Everything I do is calculated.”

Nick Cannon
Nick Cannon attends Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2017 NYC launch event at Center415 Event Space on Feb. 16, 2017 in New York City. Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

As previously reported, Cannon, 36, left the hit show last month, claiming the network allegedly threatened to fire him over a controversial joke he made during his Showtime comedy special last month. In a lengthy Facebook post published on February 13, the Wild N’ Out host wrote: “I will not be silenced, controlled, or treated like a piece of property. Not to get too detailed but this isn’t the first time executives have attempted to ‘put me in my place’ for so called unruly actions. I will not stand for it. My moral principles will easily walk away from the millions of dollars they hang over my head.”

Despite that, Cannon told ET that he has no hard feelings when it comes to parting ways with the network.

“I feel like change is growth,” he said on Friday. “I wish everyone the best. I wish all the new people involved the best. I wish the brand to continue to flourish. I’ve got love for the network, I’ve got love for the production, and I feel like I’m growing as an artist, and as a human being, to bigger and better things.”

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