Orlando Jones got fired from American Gods last week and the Internet did not take the news well. Now, Deadline is reporting that SAG-AFTRA is taking some action after accusations that the removal came as a result of his race. The star talked about it in terms that he had some ideas about how Mr. Nancy should be handled going forward with a new showrunner. In Jones’ words, “Mr. Nancy's angry, get s*** done is the wrong message for black America.” A spokesperson for Fremantle said in a statement after the fervor, “The storylines of American Gods have continually shifted and evolved to reflect the complex mythology of the source material," a spokesperson said. "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 3.”
A SAG-AFTRA spokeswoman began, “After initial meetings with Gabrielle Union and her representatives about her experiences on America’s Got Talent, and after learning more about Orlando Jones’s experience on American Gods, SAG-AFTRA is expanding its investigation of Fremantle Media [sic].”
“Our enforcement actions are handled confidentially to protect the members involved, and we typically do not publicize these matters unless the affected members request that we do so,” she included.
Fremantle responded to those accusations with this statement. “We welcome this investigation and intend to cooperate fully,” the company said in a statement. “Allegations without factual support should not go unchecked. We have already informed SAG-AFTRA that we are willing to meet to discuss the allegations.”
Jones had some comments for actors who might find themselves in a similar situation in the future. “And I certainly don’t want my daughters to think that the way that you deal in situations like this, is to swallow your pride and duck… But if you’re going to do it, try and take the high road as best you can.”
“I wish these people acted more responsibly,” he added. “I wish they acted more respectfully. And it would have been nice to get a proper ‘thank you’ and would have been nice to be paid. You know, my children aren’t in cages. I’m not in Aleppo. I still see myself as very privileged and, and I’m super grateful. But nobody else needs to go through this. Not for doing your work, for doing your job, to get screwed over like this.”
The actor also thanked the creators of American Gods. “To the wonderful Neil Gaiman, thank you for allowing me to play this role, for opening the door for me to become a writer and a producer on Season Two of American Gods, thank you, sir. To the magnificent Bryan Fuller and the incredible Michael Green, thank you for creating this series and for allowing me also to become Mr. Nancy. I hope the fans enjoyed it because really this is about you and I hope you loved it as much as I loved doing it.”