UPDATE: Jones posted a follow-up tweet to clarify he was fired from American Gods on September 10, 2019 – and not 2018. He also aimed strong criticism at production company Fremantle US – referring to them as "a nightmare" and tagging Nick Cannon, Heidi Klum, Gabrielle Union, and Melanie "Mel B" Brown as examples of those who share that view.
Here is a look at Jones' follow-up tweet, followed by Union's tweet offering to "chat" with Jones:
For a show about the growing war between the old gods and new gods, you would think American Gods fans wouldn't be too thrilled with things being quiet – but STARZ's series had a bit of a bumpy ride heading into its second season.
After a return that gave the series a much-needed gritty, ensemble feel – with a season finale that literally (no joke) had us on the edge of our seats (even knowing how it would end) – things were looking good as production on the third season rolled along – and then Saturday happened.
That's when Orlando Jones – otherwise known as Mr. Nancy aka Ghanaian trickster god Anansi – took to social media to post a video stating that he had been fired from the STARZ series.
While not naming third season showrunner Charles Eglee by name, Jones accuses "the new season 3 showrunner" of using race and racial considerations to change his character in a direction he didn't approve of:
"He [Eglee] thinks 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."
Jones continues in the recording by also accusing Eglee of being motivated by outside influences ("many black BFF's") who convinced him that the focus on societal issues and race that the series adopted during the second season needed to be toned down for fear of a "Denmark Vesey uprising in this country" – implying that the decision to alter the character was born out of race-based fears of others and not a creative decision.
Jones then continues by thanking author and executive producer Neil Gaiman as well as original showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green – two names we are sure are going to get pulled into what will be a much larger conversations. Also, the date of "September 10, 2018" has us wondering if there wasn't a NDA/gag rule in effect.
STARZ's Neil Gaiman adaptation is bringing on a number of new faces for the upcoming season – including Blythe Danner, Ashley Reyes, Herizen Guardiola, Marilyn Manson, Eric Johnson, Dominique Jackson, Lela Loren, Danny Trejo, Julia Sweeney, Wale, and Iwan Rheon.
Here's a "who's who" rundown on our new players…
● Danner's Demeter is the Greek goddess of the harvest – and a god with an unresolved romantic history with Mr. Wednesday. As if that isn't enough of a hurdle to challenege even Odin, there's one more glitch in the plan: Demeter was involuntary committed to a mental institution.
● Reyes' Cordelia is a whip-smart but rebellious college dropout facing mounting legal bills and student debt before Mr. Wednesday arrived in her life. Now, she road trips across the country meeting her boss' eccentric friends and helping him with "tech stuff," unaware she's caught up in a divine battle for the soul of America.
● Guardiola's Oshun who is the Yoruban goddess of love, purity, fertility who uplifted and empowered the enslaved people who built America. While known as the maintainer of balance, and the mother of sweetness, Oshun is formidable and known for her spiritual strength. This season, Oshun and her fellow Orishas play a mysterious but vital role in Shadow's spiritual awakening.
● Johnson's is Chad Mulligan, Lakeside's Chief of Police who spends his days mediating disputes between townsfolk he's known his whole life. This trademark low-key diplomacy works well for Chad until a local teenage girl goes missing, igniting a panic of paranoia and blame that threatens to tear Chad's beloved town apart.
● Jackson's Ms. World is an an incarnation of Crispin Glover's Mr. World – who is looking to control destiny with a mysterious new piece of technology that, if brought online, will have the power to dominate humanity's attention. And in this modern age, attention is worship.
● Manson's Johan Wengren is the bloodthirsty front man for Viking death metal band Blood Death. Wengren and the band play an important role in Mr. Wednesday's war against the new gods.
● Loren's Marguerite Olsen is not native to Lakeside, but she has become part of the fabric of the town as a trusted reporter for the local paper, a committed single mother of two, and a no-nonsense property manager. She is understandably wary of the pain vulnerability brings – but when Shadow moves into her building, he begins to chip away at her defenses and uncover a side to Marguerite she thought she'd locked away for good.
● Trejo will portray one of Mr. World's forms (similar to Jackson's "Ms. World").
● Sweeney's Ann-Marie Hinzelmann is the disarmingly warm one-woman welcome wagon for Shadow when he arrives at Lakeside. She's the owner of a small convenience store, a world-famous fishing lure artisan, and the unofficial self-appointed mayor.
● Wale's Chango is one of the Orishas, the gods of his ancestors, guiding Shadow on this journey. Armed with two axes, an electrifying charisma, selfless passion, and warrior spirit, Chango could guide Shadow to his true place within the world of gods.
● Rheon's Doyle is a charming, good-natured leprechaun who once embraced his stereotypical Lucky Charms-St. Paddy's Day image now on a path to a more dignified and honorable existence.
STARZ's American Gods season 3 follows Shadow as he attempts to break away and assert himself as his own man, setting down roots in the idyllic snowy town of Lakeside, WI, where he'll uncover a dark secret while exploring questions of his own divinity. Guided on this spiritual journey by the gods of his black ancestors, the Orishas, Shadow must decide exactly who he is: a god seeking veneration or a man in service of the "we."
American Gods stars Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, Pablo Schreiber, Crispin Glover, Yetide Badaki, Bruce Langley, Orlando Jones, Mousa Kraish, Omid Abtahi, Demore Barnes, Peter Stormare, Sakina Jaffrey, Dean Winters, Devery Jacobs, Kahyun Kim, Derek Theler, Laura Bell Bundy, and Christian Lloyd.