The actor Orlando Jones won’t be on the Starz’s series “American Gods” for its third season, which he said has to do with being Black.
The series is based on Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel of the same name, and Jones plays the Ghanaian trickster god Anansi, also known as Mr. Nancy. On Saturday, he took to Twitter and said his ousting was the result of a new showrunner named Chic Eglee having a problem with his character.
“September 10, 2018, I was fired from ‘American Gods,'” said Jones, who was also a writer and producer on the show’s second season. (Jones would subsequently correct the date to Sept. 10, 2019.) “There will be no more Mr. Nancy. Don’t let these motherf—ers 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,” he added. “So he’s very smart and he thinks that Mr. Nancy’s angry, get sh– done is the wrong message for Black America.”
“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 he 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?” asked Jones.
The production company behind “American Gods,” Fremantle, has since responded to Jones’ post and said his firing had to do with the show’s new direction.
“The storylines of ‘American Gods’ have continually shifted and evolved to reflect the complex mythology of the source material,” a spokesman for the company told Deadline. “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.”
After Jones uploaded his video, he received a lot of support on Twitter.
“Mr. Nancy. He was that amazing blend of pain, contempt, anger and compassion that I would want to see in a God from Africa,” one person wrote. “There’s plenty of different ways to do that character but only one of them is right.”
“One of THE best characters on what was one of the best shows on television and cable,” wrote another. “And the show-runner’s first idea walking into the job is to remove this character from the show?”
Politician and former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams responded to Jones’ message as well.
“Your characterization of Mr. Nancy – impassioned, empathetic, outraged, shrewd and powerful – is exactly how I saw him when I read ‘American Gods & Anansi Boys’ a decade ago. I am despondent,” she tweeted.