Starz’s TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods has had its share of bumps, most notably losing original showrunners, Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, after its acclaimed first season. Now there’s another issue: It’s lost one of its scene-stealers, Orlando Jones, who played trickster god Anansi, otherwise known as Mr. Nancy.
Jones broke the news on Twitter, revealing he wasn’t only not returning for Season 3, but that he’d been fired, all the way back in September. The reason: new showrunner Charles Eglee was not a fan of Mr. Nancy, who had helped the show explore race relations in America.
One correction: I was fired September 10th 2019. https://t.co/sYiEgAjAby
— Orlando Jones (@TheOrlandoJones) December 14, 2019
“There will be no more Mr. Nancy. Don’t let these motherf*ckers tell you they love Mr. Nancy. They don’t,” Jones said in the minute-long video. “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?”
Jones followed up the video with subsequent tweets, saying production house Freemantle “treated you like a 2nd class citizen for doing your job [too] well,” and that they “were exceptionally nasty and evil the way they did it.”
American Gods, like Gaiman’s beloved source, details the war between gods of old mythology and their modern equivalents. After Fuller and Green left the show, Jesse Alexander took over for season two, which aired in the spring. Iglee took the reins for season three, and it’s not clear how much he’ll shake things up. Neither Iglee nor Freemantle have yet formally responded to Jones’ video.