Gabrielle Union has reacted to the news that Orlando Jones was fired from American Gods. Given her own recent experience with America's Got Talent, Union was uniquely qualified to weigh in on Jones' story. It sounds like she intends to work with Jones on an appropriate response.
Jones took to Twitter on Saturday to reveal news of his firing from American Gods on Starz. He did not hold back in a video message saying that the new showrunner, Charles Eglee had let him go. He then turned his outrage on the production company Freemantle, which also works on AGT.
"They treated you like a 2nd class citizen for doing your job [too] well," Jones wrote, tagging Union as well as other performers who had worked with Freemantle in the past.
"Ohhhhhhhhhhh," read Union's response with a few raised eyebrow emojis. "Let's chat my friend."
Union added the hashtag "stronger together," implying that she saw something similar between her plight and that of Jones, and she wanted to aim for solidarity.
Jones announced on Saturday morning that he had been fired from American Gods back in September of this year. The actor played Mr. Nancy, the real-life incarnation of the trickster god Anansi from Ghanian mythology. He was also a writer and producer on the series for the first two seasons.
"There will be no more Mr. Nancy. Don't let these motherf—ers tell you they love Mr. Nancy. They don't," he said. "I'm not going to name names, but the new Season 3 showrunner is Connecticut-born and Yale-educated, so he's very smart," Jones said wryly. "And he thinks that Mr. Nancy's angry, 'get s— done' is the wrong message for black America."
"That's right, this white man sits in that decision-making chair and I'm sure he has many black BFFs who are his advisers who made it clear to him that if they did not get rid of that angry god Mr. Nancy he'd start a Denmark Vesey uprising in this country. I mean, what else could it be?" he went on.
Mr. Nancy was a beloved character among fans, with one of the most distinctive introductions in the series. A powerful scene showed him materializing in the hull of a slave ship to answer the prayers of African prisoners being transported to the U.S. He urged the captives to take the ship back by force, in a monologue that instantly made him an icon to fans.
This was one of the few additions to the show that did not come from the original novel, written by Neil Gaiman. At the end of Season 2, American Gods has not yet completed the narrative laid out in Gaiman's book, to which it has been relatively faithful. Mr. Nancy has a big role to play further on in the story, which means that the show will now have to either re-cast the character or give his parts in the story to others down the line. Either way, it is sure to be controversial among fans.