Orlando Jones Says He Was Fired From Starz Drama ‘American Gods’

Orlando Jones in American Gods (Credit: Starz)

Orlando Jones says he’s been let go from Starz drama American Gods.

The actor posted a video on Twitter Saturday to share the news with fans. In the clip, he said he was fired from season 3 of the series because new showrunner Charles Eglee thought his character, Mr. Nancy, sent “the wrong message for black America.”

Here’s how Jones explained his firing:

“September 10, 2018, I was fired from American Gods. There will be no more Mr. Nancy. Don’t let these motherfu–ers 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 shit 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 who 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?” he said.

In a second tweet, Jones issued a correction noting that he was fired Sept. 10, 2019, not in 2018. In the video, he praised the show’s creators.

“To the wonderful Neil Gaiman, thank you for allowing me to play this role, for writing this wonderful book, for opening the door for me to become a writer-producer on Season 2 of American Gods, thank you, sir. To the magnificent Bryan Fuller and the incredible Michael Green, thank you for creating this series and for allowing me also to become Mr. Nancy. I hope the fans enjoyed it because really this is about you and I hope you loved it as much as I loved doing it,” he added.


On Saturday evening, a spokesperson for American Gods issued a statement responding to Jones’ claims.

“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 three,” the statement read. “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 a follow-up tweet, Jones called the show’s producer Fremantle “a nightmare” and added, “they treated you like a second class citizen for doing your job too well.”

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Fremantle co-produces America’s Got Talent for NBC, and has been in the headlines since Gabrielle Union’s firing last month from the competition series.

Union posted a message on Twitter telling Jones she wanted to talk. “Ohhhhhhhhhhh. Let’s chat my friend. #StrongerTogether,” she tweeted.

American Gods premiered in 2017, and is based on the novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman. Bryan Fuller and Michael Green developed the series for television and served as showrunners for season 1. Jesse Alexander replaced them in the show’s second season, and Eglee serves as showrunner for season 3.