'American Gods' Producers Insist Orlando Jones Wasn't Fired Over Race


Actor Orlando Jones said he was fired from the Starz drama American Gods because of his depiction of the black deity Mr. Nancy, but the show's producers said the actor wasn't asked to return for Season 3 because his character doesn't appear in the story-line.

"I was fired Sept 10, 2019 like @itsgabrielleu @OfficialMelB @NickCannon @heidiklum all have said @FremantleUS is a nightmare. They treated you like a 2nd class citizen for doing your job to well. Stay tuned," Jones — who was a writer and producer, as well as a cast member on Season 2 — tweeted on Saturday.

A follow-up tweet from Jones said, "They wanted to stop me @TheRodneyBarnes from portraying African Gods like thoughtful powerful deities rather than black victims."

He later thanked the fans of the show for their support.

"I know ya'll have LOTS of questions about the firing. As always I promise to tell you the truth and nothing but. Always, Mr. Nancy#AmericanGods Thank you," Jones wrote on Twitter.

"The story-lines of American Gods have continually shifted and evolved to reflect the complex mythology of the source material," a Freemantle representative told Deadline. "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': Ricky Whittle & Ian McShane Return in Season 3 (PHOTO)

'American Gods': Ricky Whittle & Ian McShane Return in Season 3 (PHOTO)

The show is currently in production in Toronto, Canada.

Series lead Ricky Whittle tweeted Sunday that he does not know the details about Jones' departure, but regards Jones as an "incredible talent and friend."

The small-screen adaptation of Neil Gaiman's fantasy novel has had numerous show-runners during its brief run on the cable network.

The Walking Dead alum Charles "Chic" Eglee is the current show-runner. Marilyn Manson and Blythe Danner have joined the cast for the series' third season.

By Karen Butler

Originally published in UPI Entertainment News.