NBC ‘shocked’ by Nick Cannon quitting ‘America’s Got Talent’

Nick said he intended to walk away from the show, complaining he had been 'threatened with termination' by executives at NBC.

FILE: Nick Cannon. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - TV presenter and comedian Nick Cannon's decision to quit _America's Got Talent _has come as a shock to NBC, according to insiders.

The 36-year-old star announced on Monday that he intended to walk away from the show, complaining he had been "threatened with termination" by executives at NBC because of the jokes he made during his Showtime comedy special.

But insiders at the broadcaster have refuted the suggestion Nick was threatened with the sack, telling the _New York Post _newspaper that the presenter still has a contract with NBC that he is legally bound to fulfil.

A source also said that NBC has been eagerly trying to get in contact with Nick, who has not yet responded to their messages.

Nick dramatically announced his decision to quit the show during a lengthy Facebook post, in which he insisted he would not allow his voice to be diluted by the network.

He wrote: "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.

"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? ...

"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. (sic)"