Starz president Jeffrey Hirsch was recently asked about Orlando Jones being fired from one of its flagship shows American Gods, Deadline reported, a firing that has been looming over both the network and the show ever since Jones’ unexpected and untimely departure from the hit program. In regards to the firing, Hirsch’s response was as positive and optimistic as it was evasive. “Orlando is a tremendous talent and is a great actor and person,” Hirsch said regarding the situation. “The book is rich in story and Mr. Nancy doesn’t have a prominent role in the story….that’s where we are.”
Hirsch also added that he’s excited for the upcoming third season of American Gods, but that seemed as far as he was willing to go to address the Orlando Jones situation. Hirsh’s response regarding Jones’ departure followed a similar beat as the responses from other representatives of American Gods who claimed story was the main culprit behind the firing, and not racism. “The storylines of American Gods have continually shifted and evolved to reflect the complex mythology of the source material,” a spokesperson had once told Deadline. “Mr. Jones’ option was not picked up because Mr. Nancy, among other characters, is not featyured in the portion of the book we are focusing on within season 3.”
Jones had a very different take regarding his sudden exit from the show, and claims it wasn’t about story at all. Last December, he fanned the flames of conspiracy theorists everywhere by flat out saying on Twitter, in regards to the new season 3 showrunner, “This white man sits in that decision-making chair and I’m sure he has many black bffs whoa re his advistors 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?”
Whatever the case, the controversy surrounding Orlando Jones’ firing has been an asterisk attached to the show as big as the show’s title, and once season 3 rolls around, Orlando Jones’ absence might continue to be felt until all parties involved in his firing reach a catharsis.