Orlando Jones went public with a video posted on Twitter in which he states that he was fired from the Starz series ‘American Gods’ because the new showrunner, Charles “Chic” Eglee felt that Jones’ character, Mr. Nancy delivered the “wrong message for black America.” ‘American Gods’ is produced by Fremantle US. This controversy follows that of another Fremantle series, ‘America’s Got Talent’, which fired African American judge Gabrielle Union, who has since disclosed that the show had a toxic environment, and that she was told not to wear her hair in styles that were “too black.”
In his Twitter video, Jones declared:
“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 [Eglee] is Connecticut born and Yale-educated, so he’s very smart and he thinks that Mr. Nancy’s angry, get sh– 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 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?”
A representative from Fremantle has responded:
“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.”
Jones’ Mr. Nancy was possibly the show’s most electrifying presence. The modern embodiment of the ancient African spider god Anansi was a firebrand who used his persuasive orations to spark revolutions, particularly among black people. Many fans are already declaring that they will no longer watch the series without Jones and Mr. Nancy.
Jones began as a guest-star in Season 1 of ‘American Gods’, but was promoted to series regular for Season 2, and made a writer and producer. ‘American Gods’ has been plagued with behind the scenes issues resulting in a revolving door of showrunners, and cast changes.
Season 3 will be released sometime in 2020.