Nick Cannon curses, humps stool at Catholic school in NJ: ‘I ain’t apologizing for s***!’
LAKEWOOD — Georgian Court University is at odds with comedian Nick Cannon over his performance at the school last weekend.
The former host of "America's Got Talent" was the headline entertainment for Homecoming Weekend for GCU at the Strand Theater in Lakewood on Saturday night. The audience was made up of students, staff, alumni and administrators for a show laced with profanity, politics and humping a piece of furniture.
On Twitter, Cannon shared a letter he said was sent by GCU President Joseph Marbach that said the school was profoundly disappointed with Cannon's performance.
"Mr. Cannon blatantly disregarded the terms of our contract, and much of his act ran counter to what we stand for at GCU," Marbach wrote. "HIs words were offensive and do not represent our Mercy core values."
Marbach's letter say the school is asking for an apology from Cannon and his representatives.
Cannon wrote "I ain’t apologizing for Shit LOL… wait, I’m sorry your university doesn’t believe in freedom of speech!!!"
Student Laurie Ebenau, 22, said Cannon's show was "hilarious" and she had a good time.
The senior said the entire theater was laughing during the performance and noted that it was the first big-name celebrity GCU brought in for students. "This was really exciting."
She said the show's content likely did not abide by GCU's he "Mercy values code of respect, integrity, justice, compassion and service."
"He did get a little vulgar with sexual content and swear words. At the same time, he also made really good points about racism and issues we're going through as a country and hearing that as college students really hit us," the biology major said.
Ebenau wondered about the appropriateness of some of the show's content, especially since Marbach's young daughters were sitting in the front row.
"At one point he was humping a bar stool," Ebenau said.
During an appearance with New Jersey 101.5's Bill Spadea last October, Cannon said of his comedy tour: "I’m going all the way in man, there’s a lot going on in the world, in the community."
GCU spokeswoman Gina Towns would not disclose the approval process for Cannon or how was paid for his performance.
"The university considered the artist's ability to appeal to a wide range of audiences," Towns said.
"There were complaints from some alumni, students and staff," Towns said.
She would not say if consideration was given to not paying Cannon for the performance.
In a second statement issued Thursday to New Jersey 101.5, the school said that Cannon’s performance raised thought-provoking topics in his show.
"The event took place over our reunion weekend and many older alumni were invited to the show alongside of our current students. Because of the anticipated nature of the audience and the context of being a Catholic university, we asked Mr. Cannon to avoid vulgarity and explicit sexual content in his performance. Unfortunately, he repeatedly chose to ignore this request."
"We planned on and trusted we were getting the NBC or MTV version of Mr. Cannon. We did not. That was unfortunate."
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.