When American Gods premiered back in 2017, I still remember the fandom hype regarding a very diverse cast and well-written queer representation. However, it seems a lot of the things fans enjoyed won’t be returning for American Gods season 3.
In a sense, if it weren’t for actor Orlando Jones revealing he won’t be returning as Anansi in American Gods season 3, I think the network wouldn’t have shared such information on their own (until later). The events surrounding Jones’s firing from the show, understandably, caused an uproar. We were excited when it was released Jones had joined the cast back in 2016. We are fans of Jones at The Geekiary.
Jones shared with Variety, “All I can say is what I was told. And all what I was told was, ‘angry gets s— done’ is the wrong message for black America, and that the new showrunner [Chic Eglee] writes from a black male perspective.”
Now, before you go and make certain assumptions (like I initially did), I checked and Eglee is white and 68 years old. I’m not saying white people don’t have the skills to tell stories involving POC narratives. But from what has Jones shared and how Eglee’s vision for the third season doesn’t include Anansi, I can’t help but think something’s not right here.
Furthermore, it seems Eglee’s “black male perspective” for American Gods season 3 also doesn’t include the POC queer Jinn/Ifrit (played by Mousa Kraish). After Jones, Kraish took to Twitter to share he won’t be returning to the series.
Kraish remained classy in his Tweets and made sure to thank many of the people he had worked with. Of course, his news didn’t go over well with the fandom. The relationship between Jinn and Salim as well as how their romantic intimacy was portrayed onscreen was welcomed by viewers around the world. It was a step in the right direction as far as queer representation involving POC characters is concerned.
Apparently, according to Neil Gaiman, Jinn might come back for the fourth season which, yeah, okay… considering if there will be a fourth season.
Also, I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Salim (Omid Abtahi) doesn’t return for the third outing, or is present in a very limited role.
At this point, I’m not sure if I’ll be tuning in to watch the third season of American Gods. Let’s see.
A spokesperson for the show had this response regarding what Jones had said:
The storylines of American Gods have continually shifted and evolved to reflect the complex mythology of the source material. 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 three. Several new characters, many of which have already been announced, will be introduced into Shadow Moon’s world that will further contribute to the show’s legacy as one of the most diverse series on television.
In a recent podcast that Jones did for theblerdgurl, he talked more about his time working on American Gods and everything surrounding his firing.
Producer Fremantle was called out by Jones for his firing. Apparently, Jones might sue Fremantle.
“We stand by our original statement around the ever evolving storylines and characters that weave in and out of American Gods,” a Fremantle spokesperson told Deadline in their second response to Jones’ pointed remarks about how he was treated and why by the producers. “While we greatly appreciate Mr. Jones’ contributions to Seasons 1 and 2, we are disappointed he feels the need to make inaccurate accusations regarding the non-renewal of his contract. Our efforts are focused on Season 3 and working with our amazing cast, crew, and creators.”
Fremantle is also involved in the unfortunate debacle actress Gabrielle Union had to face during her time on America’s Got Talent. Jones and Union have talked to each other about their situations.
Y’all need to read his most recent interview with Deadline. It’s very eye-opening.
I hope all of this begins a movement, or at least an impactful conversation, in Hollywood. We all know that POC talent doesn’t have the same access to doors in such an industry compared to white talent. And even when certain people of color do get an opportunity, they have to continue fighting for their position because, in a sense, the entire industry is working against them.
Interestingly, ex-Teen Wolf actor Keahu Kahuanui also tweeted about his experience.
The Teen Wolf fandom is still upset about how the show (and showrunner Jeff Davis) handled Kahuanui’s queer character, Danny. What happened to him was unfair. The same way countless other POC have been (and continue to be) treated unfairly in this business.
Here’s to hoping things get better.
Feel free to share your thoughts about American Gods season 3 with us.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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