In December, Orlando Jones took to social media to say that the producers of American Gods had fired him from the show. Freemantle, the production studio behind the Starz series, disputed that claim. This led to the launch of an investigation by the Screen Actors Guild. At the time, series lead Ricky Whittle made a statement expressing love and respect for Jones. Whittle also claimed that he had no knowledge of what transpired that led to Jones' exit from the series. On Saturday, Jones called Whittle out and revealed a series of direct messages between them. In the messages, Whittle questions Jones' decision to play "the racism card."
Jones shared these messages alongside a series of responses. Jones' responses question the facts and timeline laid out by Whittle and the sincerity of his support. "Tea is spilt," Jones tweeted with the screen-captured images. "His message is on the left. My response is on the right. This #BlackHistoryMonth remember we are #StrongerTogether" You can see the tweet below.
In his original statement, Whittle wrote, "Speaking only from my personal experience, Chic personally has really had my back since day one, wanting to explore shadow in more depth, I am extremely proud of the stories we are telling in in season 3 and have really enjoyed shooting the season thus far, in which we continue Shadow's story deeper and his journey to Lakeside, the next part of Neil Gaiman's wonderful book. I've been blessed with incredible casting for all of the many distinctive characters Shadow has come across on his journey, including the wonderful Mr. Nancy, and look forward to meeting more and sharing Shadows next chapters this season and beyond."
In his original post, Jones accused new series showrunner Charles "Chic" Eglee of being uncomfortable with Mr. Nancy's depiction in the series. He said, "I'm not going to name names, but the new Season Three showrunner is Connecticut-born and Yale-educated, so he's very smart. And he thinks that Mr. Nancy's angry, get s*** done is the wrong message for black America. 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 who 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?"
Freemantle maintains that Jones' contract was not renewed because his character, Mr. Nancy, does not play a role in the portion of the American Gods novel that season three will adapt. SAG's investigation into Freemantle remains ongoing.