Orlando Jones says he was let go from the Starz series American Gods and will not reprise his role of Mr. Nancy in the upcoming third season, adding that the new showrunner thinks his “angry” character sends the “wrong message for black America.”
The cable channel, production company Fremantle and executive producer Charles Eglee have not responded to the 51-year-old actor’s remarks, made in text posts and in a video message on Twitter on Saturday, while Gabrielle Union, who was recently let go from America’s Got Talent, expressed her support for him.
“There will be no more Mr. Nancy. Don’t let these motherf–ers say they love Mr. Nancy. They don’t,” Jones said in the clip. “I’m not going to name names, but the new Season 3 showrunner is Connecticut-born, and Yale-educated, so he’s very smart. And he thinks Mr. Nancy’s angry, get s–t 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 advisors and made it clear to him that if they did not get rid of that angry god Mr. Nancy, he’d start a Denmark Vesey uprising in this country,” Jones continued. “I mean, what else could it be?”
In May, Eglee, who was born in Boston but grew up in Connecticut and did indeed attend Yale University, was hired to be the new showrunner and head executive producer of American Gods, a show co-created by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green and based on a book by iconic fantasy writer Neil Gaiman. Season three is set to premiere next year.
“On September 18th 2019, I was fired from American Gods,” Jones said in a statement to E! News. “I will miss the fans tremendously. Not a day goes by that I don’t receive a DM from someone who was deeply impacted by the work we did in seasons 1 & 2. Thank you to Neil Gaiman, Bryan Fuller and Michael Green for the opportunity to play this character. I don’t know why the studio has behaved so aggressively and disrespectfully towards me for doing my job. I’m heart broken for myself and the fans. #GodSquad5eva.”
Green replied to his video with one word: “HEARTBREAKING.”
“Love you Bryan,” Jones tweeted back at him.
Jones also gave a shout-out to Union, whose firing from America’s Got Talent, also produced by Fremantle, came after she complained about alleged racism and other offensive on-set behavior.
“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. More to come. #AngryGetsS–tDone.”
Former America’s Got Talent judge Mel B and Heidi Klum and former host Nick Cannon have not responded publicly to Jones’ remarks. Union, however, retweeted his video post and wrote, “Ohhhhhhhhhhh let’s chat my friend. #StrongerTogether.”
Other celebs and fans have expressed their support for Jones on Twitter.
“Whaaaaat?! @TheOrlandoJones say this isn’t so, brother!” wrote Yvette Nicole Brown.
“All true sis,” he replied. “They were exceptionally nasty and evil the way they did it.”
Jones had played Mr. Nancy on American Gods since the show debuted in 2017.
Before that, he was known for roles on shows like Sleepy Hollow and MADtv and movies such as Evolution, The Time Machine and Office Space.