American Gods actor Orlando Jones took to Twitter over the weekend to say he’d been fired from the Starz series due to issues related to race. Fans were not happy to hear this controversial news. Starz and Freemantle, the show’s studio, released a statement insisting that Jones being left out of American Gods Season 3 was due to the absence of his character, Mr. Nancy, from this portion of the plot of the Neil Gaiman novel on which the show is based and not for any reasons related to race. Fremantle has now doubled down on that defense, standing firm by its statement in new comments.
These new comments were provided to Inverse. The statement reads, “We stand by our original statement around the ever evolving storylines and characters that weave in and out of American Gods. While we greatly appreciate Mr. Jones’ contributions to Seasons 1 and 2, we are disappointed he feels the need to make inaccurate accusations regarding the non-renewal of his contract. Our efforts are focused on Season 3 and working with our amazing cast, crew and creators.” The statement seems to confirm that Freemantle is pushing ahead with production of the show's third season as planned.
The original statement in response to Jones' accusations was as follows: "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 3. 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."
In his original post, Jones accused new American Gods Season Three showrunner Charles 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?”
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