Nick Cannon – a comedian – was hired to do a show at the Georgian Court University (GCU), a private Roman Catholic school in the New Jersey, and was expected to give a performance, much like they saw at the NBC or MTV.
Despite the expectation, and planning, Cannon performed an explicit version of his act, at a reunion weekend event at the GCU for the students and Alumni last month, infuriating university officials who are now demanding an apology from the comedian.
ON Tuesday, the African American, Nick Cannon, replied to the University’s President, Joseph Marbach on Twitter. The comedian wrote, “I ain’t apologizing for S*** LOL… wait, I’m sorry your university doesn’t believe in freedom of speech!!!”
Cannon’s baseless, and imbecilic – but all too expected – accusation that the GCU was trying to suppress his freedom of speech does not at all apply here.
First and foremost, the email indicates that Cannon had already signed a contract agreeing to not to present any vulgar or offensive material at the show. So Cannon broke his contract.
Secondly, since GCU is a private institution, and not a state-funded school, it has all the right to establish the policies regarding forms of speech and expressions that are allowed to be used on campus. Such a standard has been rigorously upheld by the Supreme Court.
Regardless of the applicability of Constitutional law, Cannon certainly understood that the audience at a religious university would not be interested in hearing any vulgar material at a school event.
And it’s not the first time Cannon has claimed his free speech rights were being challenged, nor is it the first time his words have caused him to break a contract with another party.
In February, the NBC executives were displeased with the jokes Cannon made on a Showtime comedy special about how the network was “making him lose his ‘black card.’” NBC reportedly considered, but eventually decided not to fire Cannon despite him breaching the contract’s terms prohibiting him from disparaging the network.
Still, Cannon issued a long statement announcing he would leave his job as host of “America’s Got Talent” over the controversy he created for himself.
“Recently many of my mentors have cautioned me that soon ‘The System’ would come down on me because I was speaking too many truths and being to loud about it. I had no idea that it all would hit so close to home. 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”
In either case, GCU made an incredibly unwise choice in choosing such an entertainer. Nick Cannon’s “comedy” consists entirely of unoriginal, clichéd insults, and hackneyed expressions – even without the vulgarity, it’s an open question as to whether anyone in attendance would have had a good time anyway.
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