The circumstances of Orlando Jones’ firing from American Gods are getting murkier by the day, and the actor is now considering suing the show’s producers Fremantle.
Jones took to social media over the weekend to break the news to fans and express his belief that it was a race issue, but Fremantle has stated that Jones wasn’t fired and was merely not asked to return due to Nancy being absent from the section of the novel season 3 is to focus on. However, in an interview with Deadline about the ongoing situation, Jones explained that if that were the case he should have received a release letter, a contractually required document for when an actor’s option is not renewed that officially states other studios are free to employ them, without which Jones is unable to look for other work. He also queried that if it was intended for him not to feature then why were he and his manger told nothing in their months of enquiry, and also why had he been offered a three-year deal if the plan was to only use him for two.
Off the back of this, he’s contemplating legal action against the studio, and although he stated he couldn’t say any more on the subject, his repeated reference to the “angry, get-shit-done” message that Nancy preaches indicates it’s one he clearly believes in and may well inform his actions over the coming weeks and months.
As for the studio’s defense, the suggestion that the non-inclusion of one of the show’s best characters is due to fidelity to the source material holds little weight, as much of what happens in the show is an expansion of an already vast and sprawling book, with many of its characters, such as Mad Sweeny, Bilquis, Salim and the Jinn, being featured in events that had nothing to do with them in the original text.
Clearly, this is far from the last we’ve heard of the situation for Jones and American Gods itself, and we’ll be sure to update you as and when more of the story is brought to light.