Orlando Jones Claims He Was Fired From 'American Gods,' Production Company Responds
By Meredith B. Kile
Orlando Jones took to social media on Saturday, claiming he was fired from American Gods because his character, Mr. Nancy, sends "the wrong message for black America."
"There will be no more Mr. Nancy," Jones told fans in a video posted to Twitter and Instagram, in which he claims he was fired from the Starz series on Sept. 10. "Don't let these motherf**kers tell you they love Mr. Nancy -- they don't."
"I’m not going to name names but the new season 3 showrunner is Connecticut-born and Yale-educated, so he’s very smart and he thinks that Mr. Nancy’s angry, get sh*t done [attitude] is the wrong message for black America,” the actor and comedian continued. "This white man sits in that decision-making chair and I’m sure he has many black BFFs who are his advisers 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?"
Jones concluded his video by thanking the show's fans, author Neil Gaiman, who wrote the novel of the same name that the show is based on, and Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, who developed the show for TV and served as showrunners on the first season. Jesse Alexander took over as showrunner in season 2, before the reins were handed to Charles Eglee for season 3.
An American Gods spokesperson responded to Jones' claims in a statement to ET.
"The storylines of 'American Gods' have continually shifted and evolved to reflect the complex mythology of the source material," the statement reads. "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 three. 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 later tweeted a portion of his video again, correcting his earlier misstatement about the date he was fired, and seemingly making reference to Gabrielle Union's recent firing from America's Got Talent, which is also produced by Fremantle. "Correction: I was fired Sept 10, 2019 like @itsgabrielleu @OfficialMelB @NickCannon @heidiklum all have said @FremantleUS is a nightmare. They treated you like a 2nd class citizen for doing your job to well. Stay tuned. More to come. #AngryGetsSh*tDone," he wrote.
Union departed AGT late last month, after which a Variety report claimed that the judge had expressed concern about the show's "toxic culture" to NBC's Human Resources department. NBC and Fremantle responded to the report with a statement praising AGT's long history of "inclusivity and diversity," and explained Union and Julianne Hough's exits as routine cycling out of judges. However, Union's husband, Dwyane Wade, claimed on Twitter that she was fired from the show.
In a statement to ET at the time, NBC, Fremantle and Syco said: "We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture. We are working with Ms. Union through her representatives to hear more about her concerns, following which we will take whatever next steps may be appropriate."
See more about the ongoing drama in the video below.