American Gods Star Ricky Whittle Calls Out Tweet for "Discrimination"

Looks like American Gods star Ricky Whittle isn't finding anything that funny about comedian, actor, and host Jay Washington's tweet about his appearance during the third season of STARZ's adaptation of author and EP Neil Gaiman's novel. As viewers know, this season finds Shadow spending some time in Lakeside under the guise of "Mike Ainsel"- and along with that there was another prominent change: Shadow let his hair grow out. Well, it seems three episodes of a no-longer-bald Shadow was more than enough for Washington, who tweeted, "Look I get that Shadow Moon is supposed to be on the run from the law in this new season of #AmericanGods but man [Ricky Whittle] out here with this Morris Day perm/blowout combo has me so disturbed."

american gods
Image: STARZ

We're guessing Washington didn't read Whittle's post from earlier this month (more on that below) urging biracial people like him to take pride in who they are and to not let others define them- Black or White. Well, Whittle retweeted Washington's tweet with a response that got everyone up-to-speed on how he feels about what he's assuming was a joke on Washington's part. "Look I get you're supposed to be a comedian, but discrimination against a biracial man due to his inherited features in 2021 is done. This country never evolves. Never black enough for some, never white enough for others. #biraciallife" Here's a look at Washington's tweet and Whittle's response, followed by a screencap just in case the tweet pulls a disappearing act:

American Gods Star Ricky Whittle Calls Out Tweet for "Discrimination"
Image: Screencap

Earlier this month, Whittle penned a heartfelt and touching post to "all biracial kids out there, adults too" where he opened up about what life was like for him growing up in England and confronting racism constantly. He used his story to remind others that they don't have to fit into the preconceived notions of others, that they have the right and responsibility to be who they want to be. "It's not your job to make others feel comfortable with your appearance, voice or choices, Whittle writes. Continuing, he adds, "You should never have to defend how you look, sound or feel" before ending with some sage advice from his mother. Here's a look at the full text (with spacing adjusted):

american gods
Image: STARZ

"To all biracial kids out there, adults too. I'm Biracial/multi cultural- someone whose parents or ancestors are from different racial backgrounds. My father is my beautiful brown eyed Black King from Jamaica. My mother is my beautiful blue eyed Caucasian Queen from England. I am 50% of each proudly bearing features from both. My fathers eyes, mouth. My mums hair, nose, ears. I share traits of their personalities, their humor, generosity, empathy. They taught me morals, the difference between right & wrong, equality, respect, manners. Most importantly they gave me strength, belief & filled me with love & courage.

Growing up in England & around the world as an Air Force kid, racism was intense & fights were daily. As a grown man now living in America, that sadly continues to be a challenge on different levels & a problem for others determined to fit me & those like me into THEIR definitions of who I 'should' be, how I 'should' sound & look. I'm Not White enough for some, not Black enough for others. Well let me remind you I am neither and both. I am Black AND I am Caucasian because to ignore or lean toward one erases a parent and their contribution to my creation and life. I couldn't be more proud of my father and mother and the man they made me. Bringing two cultures & races together, traveling, teaching me strength & beauty comes from within,to stand up for myself & others who can't. That nobody defines me but myself & my actions.

It's not your job to make others feel comfortable with your appearance, voice or choices. Its not my business nor theirs & all should respect that. You should never have to defend how you look, sound or feel. I have my goals & my dreams & nobody but me will walk my unique path. I don't have to fit your definition, I am who I am, your problems with our appearance says more about you. The world is changing, everyone is unique, everyone is special & beautiful. I never worry about things I can't control, my history, my features, be proud of them, that makes you unique. Worry about what You can control, your positivity over negativity. Right over wrong, love over hate. Or as my mum used to put it…just don't be a dick"

Auto Draft
(Image: STARZ)

Here's a look at what viewers can expect to come during the third season of STARZ's American Gods:

"American Gods" is the epic story of an inevitable war building between the Old Gods of mythology and our New Gods of technology. Whittle stars as ex-con Shadow Moon, a man pulled into the service of the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, played by Ian McShane ("Deadwood", John Wick) — only to discover that not only is his charismatic but un-trustable boss actually the Norse All-Father god Odin, he's also…Shadow's father.

In Season Three, Shadow angrily pushes this apparent destiny away and settles in the idyllic snowy town of Lakeside, Wisconsin — to make his own path, guided by the gods of his Black ancestors, the Orishas. But he'll soon discover that this town's still waters run deep, and dark, and bloody, and that you don't get to simply reject being a god. The only choice — and a choice you have to make — is what kind of god you're going to be.

STARZ'S American Gods stars Ricky Whittle (The 100, Austenland) as 'Shadow Moon,' Ian McShane (Deadwood, Ray Donovan) as Mr. Wednesday, Emily Browning (Sucker Punch, The Affair) as Laura Moon, Yetide Badaki (Aquarius, This Is Us) as Bilquis, Bruce Langley (Deadly Waters) as Tech Boy, Omid Abtahi (The Mandalorian, Damien) as Salim, Ashley Reyes (Night Has Settled) as Cordelia, Crispin Glover (Back to the Future) as World, Demore Barnes (12 Monkeys, Waco) as Mr. Ibis, Devery Jacobs (Cardinal, The Order) as Sam Black Crow, and Blythe Danner (Huff, Will & Grace) as Demeter.

The series also stars Marilyn Manson (Salem, Sons of Anarchy) as Johan Wengren, Julia Sweeney (Shrill, Saturday Night Live) as Hinzelmann, Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones, InHumans) as Liam Doyle, Danny Trejo (Machete) as World, Peter Stormare (Fargo, Prison Break) as Czernobog, Denis O'Hare (True Blood, Dallas Buyers Club) as Tyr, Lela Loren (Power, Altered Carbon) as Marguerite Olsen, Dominique Jackson (Pose) as World, Wale (American Honey, Godfather of Harlem) as Chango, Herizen Guardiola (The Get Down) as Oshun, and Eric Johnson (The Girlfriend Experience, Vikings) as Chad Mulligan.

American Gods Season 3 Trailer: Shadow Moon Can't Outrun His Destiny (Image: STARZ)
American Gods Season 3 Trailer: Shadow Moon Can't Outrun His Destiny (Image: STARZ)

Produced by Fremantle with Executive Producer Charles H. Eglee serving as showrunner, STARZ's American Gods is based on author and EP Neil Gaiman's modern classic novel. Anne Kenney, Damian Kindler, David Paul Francis, Mark Tinker, Ian McShane, Craig Cegielski, and Stefanie Berk also executive produce.

About 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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