AceShowbiz - The production company behind Starz series "American Gods" has insisted actor Orlando Jones was not fired because of his race.
The African-American star complained on Saturday, December 14 that he was not invited back for the third season of the show, insisting he was "fired" from the fantasy series.
"I'm not going to name names but the new season 3 showrunner is Connecticut born and Yale-educated, so he's very smart and he thinks that Mr. Nancy's angry, get s**t done is the wrong message for black America," he said in a video on Twitter. "This white man sits in that decision-making chair and I'm sure he has many black BFFs who are his advisors and made it clear to him that if he 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?"
However, a spokesperson from producing company, Fremantle, told Deadline the decision not to renew the actor's contract was solely based on the storyline evolving without him
"The storylines of American Gods have continually shifted and evolved to reflect the complex mythology of the source material," the spokesperson said, referencing Neil Gaiman's novel of the same name. "Mr. Jones' option was not picked up because Mr. Nancy, among other characters, is not featured in the portion of the book we are focusing on within Season 3."
Freemantle is also the company behind "America's Got Talent", and is in the midst of controversy after former judge Gabrielle Union, was reportedly axed from the show for raising a number of race and gender-related issues that were not reported to network bosses at NBC.
Taking to Twitter, the "Empire" actress reached out to Jones, asking to "chat" over his experience working for the organisation, after he likened his firing to her similar experience.
Union's departure from the TV talent contest, and that of fellow judge Julianne Hough, is currently under investigation by union officials at SAG-AFTRA.