Orlando Jones States He Was Fired from American Gods Because His Character Mr. Nancy Sent “Wrong Message for Black America”

Not all is well in the land of American Gods. Orlando Jones, who played Mr. Nancy and became a writer and producer on the Starz show, was given his leave four months ago. Silent about it until now, he isn’t happy.

Jones posted a scathing video to Twitter taking aim at the new showrunner Chic Eglee (Dexter, The Walking Dead) – without naming names. He closed by thanking his fans, American Gods’ creator Neil Gaiman, various crew, and those who’ve shown him support.

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“I was fired from ‘American Gods,’ there will be no more Mr. Nancy,” Jones said in the clip. He added, “Don’t let these motherf—— tell you they love Mr. Nancy, they don’t,” and this:

“[He] thinks Mr. Nancy’s angry, get s–t 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 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?”

Loyal viewers of American Gods aren’t any happier than Jones. The consensus is Mr. Nancy was the best character, they messed up by letting him go, and season three won’t be worth watching.

Here’s a smattering of what they are saying on Twitter:

Related: Neil Gaiman Responds to Warner Bros.’ Struggle to Keep Superman ”Relevant” Today

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Former showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green (Hannibal) showed solidarity with Jones. Fuller called the news “HEARTBREAKING” while Green called Jones a “wonderful man” he “loved every minute of working with.” Jones answered back with love and gratitude to both men.

Fuller and Green left American Gods after the first season due to creative differences with Gaiman. Jesse Alexander (Hannibal, Star Trek: Discovery) took over for season two before departing as well once the season was over.

Fremantle, the company behind the series, stated to Deadline evolving storylines and not race is the reason Jones won’t be in the next season. A spokesperson relayed the following:

“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.”

The spokesperson added:

“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 an interview with Variety, Jones called their response “laughable” and stressed “they went radio silent” for weeks before calling him in September to tell him they were going in a new direction:

“I know I’m not going to be on ‘American Gods’ and you’re trying to play like it’s some option thing that you’re not picking up, but you fired me, I get it. But you also took me out of all this other work that I could do… To now say what they’re saying, which is, ‘Oh, we didn’t pick up his option,’ is laughable. Because if that’s the case, why couldn’t you have told me that months ago? Why did you take me out of work? Why did you hurt my family? Why did you not talk to me at all [and] never deign to have a conversation with me? And, and then not even tell the fans?”

Fremantle produces another show that faced a racially charged controversy: America’s Got Talent. Gabrielle Union parted ways with the show and took parting shots at the work environment and Jay Leno. The former Tonight Show host made a joke Union did not appreciate – about Korean food.

Jones spoke to her recently and addressed that:

“This is exactly what Gabrielle is describing. I’m literally trying to save you from yourself, because you’ve got these characters here, and you don’t want to do anything for them, but then you want to say that you care about the LGBTQ+ community… so help me understand how, what my role is here. How am I your enemy? And that’s how Gabrielle felt.

We said it to each other, almost at the same time, that this isn’t about money. It’s about the people who are going to come behind us, who are going to find themselves in this same position.”

Stating he tried giving producers the benefit of the doubt, resisted jumping to conclusions, and did his job in his estimation they asked him to do – which entailed writing several characters, not just his own – Jones concluded:

“My hope is that nobody finds himself in a scenario where they go into a show, and this is what they deal with: a 19-month hiatus taking you out of work, and then to be fired summarily at the last minute.

And I certainly don’t want my daughters to think that the way that you deal in situations like this is to swallow your pride and duck… But if you’re going to do it, try and take the high road as best you can.

I wish these people acted more responsibly. I wish they acted more respectfully. And it would have been nice to get a proper ‘thank you’ and would have been nice to be paid. You know, my children aren’t in cages. I’m not in Aleppo. I still see myself as very privileged and, and I’m super grateful. But nobody else needs to go through this. Not for doing your work, for doing your job, to get screwed over like this.”

He did make it clear that he felt his firing was personal.

“Now you are a pariah, for what? That’s, for me, what’s most perplexing, most hurtful about it. It’s like, what did I do to you people? It’s not my first time having a bad thing happen. But this is purely different because it does seem extremely personal and extremely pointed.”

He would later add on Twitter that he never had a conversation or met incoming showrunner Chic Eglee. Instead he explains Eglee “sent others to do his dirty work.”

Related: Netflix Signs “Massive Financial Deal” to Bring Neil Gaiman’s Sandman to TV

Orlando Jones has been a working comedian and actor since the 90s. He was one of the original cast members of MADtv along with Phil LaMarr and Artie Lang. Turning to acting, Jones appeared in a range of TV shows from Father of the Pride to Sleepy Hollow. A brief stint as a late-night host on FX followed and so did feature films. His movie credits include Office Space, Evolution, and The Time Machine.

Charles “Chic” Eglee was an executive producer on police drama The Shield, Dexter, Walking Dead, and Hemlock Grove. Among the films he’s written are cult classics Piranha II: The Spawning and Canadian shocker Deadly Eyes. He has a story credit on Terminator: Dark Fate too and collaborates with James Cameron often.

No word yet on when American Gods season three will air.

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