What’s going on with Starz’s ‘American Gods’?
Orlando Jones, who’s played Mr. Nancy for two seasons on Starz’s American Gods, posted a video on Saturday claiming he’s been fired from the series due to issues related to race. Fans haven’t taken the news lightly, with backlash being filtered through Jones’s Twitter feed. Drama ensues.
Jones states in his video that season 3 showrunner Charles Eglee fired him because Eglee isn’t happy with the message being sent by the interpretation of his character Anansi aka Mr. Nancy. Starz and Freemantle, the show’s studio, later released a statement insisting that Jones being left out of the third installment of American Gods is due to the absence of his character from this portion of the plot of the novel on which the show is based and not for any reasons related to race.
American Gods author Neil Gaiman has also chimed in, praising Jones while remaining neutral on the reasons the actor will not return for the show’s third season.
This is the latest in a series of actor shuffles for American Gods. The first season’s cast included Crispin Glover, Gillian Anderson, and Kristin Chenoweth, none of whom are expected to return in the show’s third season. It’s also been confirmed that actor Mousa Kraish, who portrays Jinn on the series, will also not be returning for the third season.
Regardless of the reasons behind Jones and Kraish being let go from the series, American Gods is already suffering a public perception problem. These casting decisions also seem to send a message to fans about a lack of sensitivity to both race and LGBTQ+ issues.