Orlando Jones will not appear in the upcoming third season of American Gods as Mr Nancy.
Yesterday (14th December), the actor posted a video to Twitter alleging that he was fired from the series because new showrunner Charles ‘Chic’ Eglee thought his character Mr. Nancy’s “angry, get s**t done [attitude]” was “the wrong message for black America”.
— Orlando Jones (@TheOrlandoJones) December 14, 2019
A spokesperson for Starz later provided a statement on Jones’s departure, insisting that the decision to write out his character was motivated by storytelling.
“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.”
In a further interview with TVLine, Jones called his axing from the show “spiteful” and “insanely hurtful.”
American Gods is based on the novel by Neil Gaiman, with Jones suggesting that the author had reached out to him following his firing. “I personally have a deep and abiding respect for Neil Gaiman,” he said. “I don’t have any arguments or beef with [him].”
Having appeared in two episodes of season one, Jones was a series regular on season two of American Gods as Mr Nancy, one of the Old Gods.
Starz is yet to announce a return date for American Gods, which streams on Amazon Prime Video in the UK. Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones) and Marilyn Manson are among the new actors set to join the cast for the third season.