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American Gods: Neil Gaiman Addresses Anansi/S03; Orlando Jones Answers

For those of you who've been checking out our coverage of STARZ's American Gods since it first kicked off, you know that one of the issues that still reverberates into the third season of the adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel is the situation surrounding Orlando Jones (Mr. Nancy) not returning for Season 3. While you can check out the backstory in further detail here, here, here, and here- in December 2019, Jones took to social media to announce that he wasn't being asked to return for the third season and that the reason was that showrunner Charles Eglee and others had an issue with his character addressing race-related issues in the manner that many viewers and critics alike praised during the second season.

american gods
American Gods (Image: STARZ)

But for the past ten months, things were relatively quiet publically on the matter- until this week. Responding in a thread that began praising the new season before the topic turned to Jones, Gaiman said that Eglee never discussed the character of Mr. Nancy/Anansi with him and that Eglee never met Jones. Gaiman also explained that Eglee could've "just written different lines" for Jones if there was an issue with the character, before emphasizing again that Anansi isn't in the part of the novel being covered in Season 3 so he wouldn't have been in seven of the season's episodes.

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When asked if this was all a misunderstanding, Gaiman revealed that a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) investigation was underway and that he was "looking forward" to seeing the report. Gaiman than reiterated that Eglee's goal was to get the series more in line with the book- which meant they "didn't have seven episodes of Anansi Plot":

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Jones responded not long after with some clarification of his own, where he tweets that Gaiman, STARZ, and FremantleUS told him that he and his team would be writing Mr. Nancy in the third season and would get a producing credit based on the work he did during the second season. Jones pushes back on the idea that Eglee would've written lines for him, and offers the final point that Eglee fired him not long before work on the new season was supposed to start: "He fired me 8 days before I was supposed to come to work sir. #honestly"

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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