On this week’s episode of People’s Party, Jasmin Leigh and Talib Kweli chopped it up with comedian, writer, and all-around renaissance man Orlando Jones. In this clip, Jones details how he wore multiple hats on American Gods — acting, writing, and creating the “show bible” for the character of Anansi (Mr. Nancy) before being fired from the series. He attributes his departure to new American Gods season three showrunner Charles Eglee.
According to Jones, Eglee didn’t like the radical politics of Mr. Nancy, whose speeches had gone viral multiple times. Two of these iconic speeches were by Jones himself.
“Dude thinks he’s the blackest dude in the game, hats, style, the way he carries himself, he’s from Boston, this is a Boston white dude… what was really crazy to me was that there was a studio, a network, and a cast full of black people and people of color who were not willing to stand up and call this dude out for being a culture vulture, particularly on a show that is so multicultural.”
It wasn’t just Eglee’s treatment of Mr. Nancy that got under Jones’ skin, it was his disregard for the universe that had already been established by the previous American Gods team.
“We established these characters before you got here, at least be respectful enough of human beings to have a conversation with them and allow them to be in the discourse, whether you keep the character or not keep the character is not the point, but it was coming in like ‘oh you’re going to tell me what black is, and he’s gonna tell all ya’ll what it is and you’re just going to go along with it?’ Then let me do a pushback from this show altogether because there is simply no way that this white dude from Boston can possibly write these two Muslim gay characters. He knows nothing about what it means to be disenfranchised… nor does he care!”
‘People’s Party with Talib Kweli’ featuring Orlando Jones airs Monday, October 5th, at 9am ET at YouTube.com/UproxxVideo.