Just when it appeared that the drama backstage on American Gods had died down, the lit was fused again this week.
Orlando Jones, who was let go from the hit drama late last year, took to social media this past Saturday to reveal how his former co-star, Ricky Whittle, reacted to Jones’ firing. The actor published on his Twitter account a direct message that Whittle sent him when Jones first announced that he was fired from the show back in December.
“Would love to talk about what u actually want and what ur doing to the fam,” Whittle wrote to Jones presumably in response to Jones’ claims that he was not brought back for the upcoming third season because new showrunner Charles “Chic” Eglee thought Jones’ character, Mr. Nancy, sends “the wrong message” to “black America.”
Whittle also wrote to Jones in the same message, “Using the racism card to burn ur friends house down is clever but we both know it’s incompetence not racism & we are caught in the crossfire… We totally had ur back on the incompetence, but pulling the race card to [incite] public trolls is a bulls–t tactic & u know it.”
Jones’ post in revealing the DM, shared that Whittle “has no idea what transpired between me, [American Gods production company] Freemantle and Starz. Nvr asked, nvr cared.” He also noted about Whittle in response: “You’re the star of the show so you know WAY more than me about all of this.”
— Orlando Jones (@TheOrlandoJones) February 29, 2020
At the time of Jones’ release from the show, the series issued a statement that American Gods‘ storylines “have continually shifted and evolved to reflect the complex mythology of the source material,” and that Jones’ option was not picked up because his character, the Old God Mr. Nancy, “is not featured in the portion of the book we are focusing on in Season 3.” (Read the statement in full here.)
American Gods has been in developmental hell producing and showrunning wise since its first season to be completely honest. Original showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green left in November 2017 over “creative differences” with cast members Kristin Chenoweth and Gillian Anderson following them soon after.
Hannibal‘s Jesse Alexander was then brought on to work jointly with Neil Gaiman, whose 2001 novel is American Gods‘ source material. Alexander didn’t last very long as rumors of ongoing production issues, delays and script doctoring being performed by frustrated cast members spread, which ultimately sidelined Alexander as the showrunner.
At this point, the best thing that Starz can do is to cancel it and move on as the behind-the-scenes craziness is definitely going to drive viewers away.
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