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Orlando Jones Interview: The ‘American Gods’ Star on Getting ‘Screwed Over’ and Speaking Out



Jones decided to stand up for himself and set the record straight on why he won’t be seen in Season 3 — and how he feels he was disrespected by not getting the full truth for months — time that he could have spent working on other projects.

With the end of the year approaching, Jones had given up on Fremantle announcing that Mr. Nancy wasn’t going to return — and worse, feared that he would wind up with angry fans wondering why he wasn’t in Season 3.


Jones took on writing duties in Season 2, and was asked by Neil Gaiman to write a character bible for Mr. Nancy. Jones wound up as a consulting producer in Season 2, writing for other characters as well, particularly characters of color.

Jones fully expected to return for Season 3, and says Fremantle and Starz were in touch with his manager about renegotiating his deal as both a star and producer on “American Gods.”

In September, Jones was still being called upon to appear with “American Gods” star Ricky Whittle at Salt Lake City Comic-Con. On September 10, Jones got a call from Starz telling him that the show was going in a different creative direction.

“American Gods,” has been the subject of near constant turmoil behind the scenes : the firing of original creators Bryan Fuller and Michael Green after Season 1. Jesse Alexander took over as showrunner at the start of Season 2, but then he too was sidelined, and the show continued without one. For Season 3, Eglee was named showrunner — but Jones said Eglee never spoke to him about the decision to cut Mr. Nancy from the show.

Jones pointed out that a number of the show’s characters of color, including Salim and Jinn, are gone, and that Fuller and Green’s desire to write major parts for “American Gods'” characters of color has been lost. 

Jones talked with Gabrielle Union, who is currently also calling out Fremantle, as one of the producers of “America’s Got Talent.” 

Jones kept quiet after being let go on September 10 because he didn’t want to jump to conclusions. He now is also speaking out as a lesson for other actors who might find themselves in the same situation.


“I wish these people acted more responsibly. I wish they acted more respectfully. And it would have been nice to get a proper ‘thank you’ and would have been nice to be paid. Nnobody else needs to go through this. Not for doing your work, for doing your job, to get screwed over like this.”



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Tags: black celebrities, firing / termination, television - starz
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