Today's Starz panel at the 2020 TCAs didn't get very far before network president and CEO Jeffrey Hirsch had to deal with the Mr. Nancy in the room.
Orlando Jones, who played Mr. Nancy through two seasons of American Gods, broke the news of his firing weeks ago, saying Season 3 showrunner Chic Eglee felt like the character's "angry, get s*** done is the wrong message for black America."
According to Deadline, questions about Jones being fired from the show based on Neil Gaiman's book were brought up at today's TCA panel immediately.
To which Hirsch responded: “Orlando is a tremendous talent and is a great actor and person. The book is rich in story and [Mr. Nancy] doesn’t have a prominent role in the story… that’s where we are.”
Per The Wrap, Hirsch also noted: “It is one of the most diverse casts on television, and we think Chic is doing a great job on mapping a great show. ... Chic and the team decided to be in area where Mr. Nancy doesn’t play a prominent role, so that’s where we are.”
Hirsch did not go into further detail about Jones' firing from the series.
This response is similar to what the production company Fremantle had previously said in a statement to Deadline, that Jones' departure was "not about race, but about story."
“The storylines of American Gods have continually shifted and evolved to reflect the complex mythology of the source material,” a spokesperson said to Deadline, adding, “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."
Fair enough... if Season 3 of the series is going to focus on Shadow Moon and the town of Lakeside, then Mr. Nancy doesn't really feature into things. He most certainly does feature into latter sections of Gaiman's book, however.
For more coverage of the 2020 TCAs, click right here.