Twitter was abuzz over the weekend after American Gods star Orlando Jones posted a video revealing that he had been fired from the Starz epic. Jones posted the video on Twitter claiming that the new showrunner for season three Charles Eglee didn’t think the character of Mr. Nancy was “the wrong message for black America.”
“There will be no more Mr. Nancy. Don’t let these motherf–ers tell you they love Mr. Nancy. They don’t. 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’ Mr. Nancy, an African trickster diety, has been one of the highlights of the show since it started, earning particular acclaim in an episode of the second season where he appeared to a ship load of slaves and delivered a fiery monologue.
“You all don’t know you black yet. You think you just people. Let me be the first to tell you that you are all black. The moment these Dutch motherf-ckers set foot here and decided that they white and you all get to be black—and that’s the nice name they call you? Let me paint a picture of what’s waiting for you on the shore…
You all get to be slaves. Split up, sold off and worked to death. The lucky ones get Sunday off to sleep, f-ck and make more slaves, and all for what? For cotton. Indigo. For a f-cking purple shirt. The tobacco your grandkids are gonna farm for free is gonna give a shitload of these white motherf-ckers cancer.
And I ain’t even started yet. A hundred years later, you’re f-cked. A hundred years after that? F-cked. A hundred years after you get free, you still getting f-cked on the job and shot at by police. You are staring down the barrel of 300 years of subjugation, racist bullsh-t, and heart disease.
Angry is good. Angry gets sh-t done.”
The producers of the show released a statement via their spokesperson.
“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. 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.”
Eglee’s rep also released a brief response: “Mr. Jones is wrong on multiple counts, the least of which is Mr. Eglee was not born in Connecticut.”
Jones also tweeted a statement calling out Freemantle, the production team behind American Gods and tagged some notable people who have also had issues with the company, including Gabrielle Union, who was recently fired from America’s Got Talent and has been dealing with an internal investigation when it came out that she was fired after there were complaints that she appeared “too black” and that she objected to a racist joke made by guest judge Jay Leno.
Union responded to the tweet with a cryptic “Ohhhhhhhhhhh ??? let’s chat my friend. #StrongerTogether,” so hopefully these two talented folks can work together on making some real change.
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) December 14, 2019