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Orlando Jones says he was fired from the Starz series American Gods in September, alleging that new showrunner Charles Eglee decided his character was sending “the wrong message for black America.”
Jones plays trickster god Anansi, also called Mr. Nancy, on the Fremantle-produced Neil Gaiman drama. The actor says he was let go from the third season of the series on Sept. 10.
“There will be no more Mr. Nancy. Don’t let these motherfuckers tell you they love Mr. Nancy. They don’t. I’m not going to name names but the new season 3 showrunner is Connecticut born and Yale-educated, so he’s very smart and he thinks that Mr. Nancy’s angry, get shit done is the wrong message for black America,” Jones said in his tweeted video. “That’s right. This white man sits in that decision-making chair and I’m sure he has many black BFFs who are his advisors and made it clear to him that if they did not get rid of that angry god Mr. Nancy he’d start a Denmark Vesey uprising in this country. I mean, what else could it be?”
The actor, who also wrote and produced during the show’s second season following the exit of original showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, added in his social media posts that Gabrielle Union, Heidi Klum and Nick Cannon “all have said Fremantle is a nightmare.”
“They treated you like a 2nd class citizen for doing your job to well. Stay tuned. More to come. #AngryGetsShitDone,” Jones said.
Union, who was fired from season 14 of the Fremantle-produced America’s Got Talent, retweeted Jones’ message while writing “Ohhhhhhhhhhh … let’s chat my friend. #StrongerTogether.”
In correspondence with The Hollywood Reporter on Saturday afternoon, a spokesperson for American Gods issued the following statement. “The storylines of American Gods have continually shifted and evolved to reflect the complex mythology of the source material. Mr. Jones’ option was not picked up because Mr. Nancy, among other characters, is not featured in the portion of the book we are focusing on within season three.”
The statement continued, “Several new characters, many of which have already been announced, will be introduced into Shadow Moon’s world that will further contribute to the show’s legacy as one of the most diverse series on television.”
THR also reached out to Starz for comment.
Correction: I was fired Sept 10, 2019 like @itsgabrielleu @OfficialMelB @NickCannon @heidiklum all have said @FremantleUS is a nightmare. They treated you like a 2nd class citizen for doing your job to well. Stay tuned. More to come. #AngryGetsShitDone pic.twitter.com/DQYtaMfs8O
— Orlando Jones (@TheOrlandoJones) December 14, 2019
Dec 14, 4:16 p.m. Updated with statement from American Gods spokesperson.
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