Orlando Jones, a comedian and actor who starred in MADtv and FOX’s Sleepy Hollow, played Mr.Nancy for the first two seasons on Starz’ American Gods. In the story Mr. Nancy is Anansi, one of the old Gods, who tells stories about West African Animals such as birds, tigers, and monkeys. Jones posted a video on social media Saturday saying that he’s been fired from the show. The actor claims this decision was made by new show runner Charles Eglee in September, as Eglee doesn’t believe the character of Mr. Nancy appropriately fits into the show’s narrative.
— Orlando Jones (@TheOrlandoJones) December 14, 2019
Orlando Jones went on to say “Don’t let these motherfuckers tell you they love Mr. Nancy. They don’t… I’m not going to name names but the new season-three show runner 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 advisers 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 also said that the company that produces American Gods, Fremantle, was “a nightmare that treated you like a second-class citizen for doing your job too well” — and that the show was “exceptionally nasty and evil” with how they chose to fire him.
A spokesperson from Fremantle told Deadline, “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 3,”
American Gods is a television Drama series based on Neil Gaiman’s novel, being developed by Brian Fuller and Michael Green for the premium cable network Starz. The series is being produced by the production company Fremantle, and distributed by Lionsgate. The first season premiered in 2017. Fuller and Green were the showrunners for the first season and were replaced by Jessie Alexander on the Second Season.