American Gods is defending its decision to part ways with cast member Orlando Jones.
Earlier on Saturday, Jones posted an expletive-laced video to Twitter, in which he alleged that he was fired from the series because new showrunner Charles “Chic” Eglee thought his character Mr. Nancy sent “the wrong message” to “black America.” In response, a spokesperson for the Fremantle-produced Starz drama tells TVLine that Jones’ option for Season 3 was not picked up because the upcoming run of episodes will focus on a portion of the book that does not include Mr. Nancy, among several other characters that appeared during the show’s first two seasons. The full statement reads as follows:
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.
Shortly after Jones revealed that he was let go from the premium-cable adaptation, former American Gods showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green responded on Twitter. “HEARTBREAKING,” Fuller wrote. “I loved every minute of working with this wonderful man,” Green added. “His talent is 🔥🔥 and his 🔥🔥 is essential.” Fuller later replied to Green’s tweet, calling Jones “a pro, a thoughtful creative partner, an insightful storyteller and a remarkable human being.”
Season 3 casting thus far includes Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones) as Liam Doyle, a “charming” and “good-natured” leprechaun; Lela Loren (Power) as Marguerite Olsen, Shadow Moon’s neighbor in the snowy Lakeside, Wisc.; Blythe Danner (Will & Grace) as Demeter, the Greek goddess of the harvest; Marilyn Manson as Johan Wengren, the bloodthirsty lead singer of the Viking death metal band Blood Death; Ashley Reyes as Cordelia, a college dropout who becomes a valuable employee of Mr. Wednesday; and Herizen Guardiola (The Get Down) as Oshun, “the Yoruban goddess of love, purity, fertility who uplifted and empowered the enslaved people who built America.”