Sometimes you’ve got to shake your head and wonder ‘why can’t people get along?’. Taking Mr. Nancy/Anansi from the American Gods lineup was a mistake in the first place considering that he’s been a dynamic an very entertaining character, but now it looks as though Orlando Jones‘ comments towards those in control has been noted by the Screen Actors Guildâ€American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, or SAG-AFTRA. If the matter concerned Jones getting fired due to race there could be a serious problem, but it would also be highly suspect considering that there are other people of color on this show and thus the argument would become extremely muddied. I’m all for keeping Jones on the show as I’m betting a lot of other people would be, but now that things have popped off in another different manner that inspires little more than hard feelings it does appear that the balance of the show is about to be affected. Jessica James of We Got This Covered is of the mind that the show is going to suffer a bit, and really it’s hard to disagree considering that the removal of Mr. Nancy was a shock to begin with. But now that Jones has SAG-AFTRA behind him, possibly, the effect is going to carry over and taint the whole thing most likely.
The firing of Jones was the spark that lit this smoldering mess, since calling it a fully-raging bonfire doesn’t seem accurate just yet. At this time the show is still very much on it would appear, but trying to predict what’s going to happen once SAG-AFTRA gets involved is going to be touch and go for a bit. Personally I’m not much for unions no matter that they can bring about some very needed security and protect those that fall under their protection. But this could have been settled in such a different way that would have left all concerned either pleased or at least content in a compromise that might have avoided this nonsense. Getting rid of a character that fans liked wasn’t the best idea to ever come along, but it also wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Characters do walk off stage from time to time, they do find different courses that veer away from the main action and thus disappear. Mr. Nancy was tied pretty close with Wednesday/Odin, but if anyone has read the book he’s not the main character and he’s not quite as important as anyone might like to think. Choosing to bench him for the show, which has already deviated more than once from the book, wasn’t the wisest move, but it was definitely something that could have been mitigated by giving him a smaller role in the third season. Whether that will happen now or not is hard to say since putting the investigation by SAG-AFTRA into motion is going to put a lot of people on guard and raise a small field of red flags no doubt.
What this means unfortunately is that people are going to be put on edge, which will affect the production and eventually even affect the entire feel of the show. People might want to state that this is paranoia but really it’s been seen more than once throughout the history of cinema and TV that if the cast is tense it doesn’t matter how professional they are, that tense feeling will eventually come out and affect their job. It’s hard to blame Jones for any of this since cutting him from the show makes him more of a sympathetic character in this mess, but where cooler heads might have prevailed he did manage to start spouting off in a manner that couldn’t be missed by anyone. While venting his frustrations towards those that he felt had done him wrong wasn’t hard to predict it was also ill-advised since at this point damaging the integrity of the show just for spite makes Jones look a lot less sympathetic and more like a child throwing a tantrum after not getting his way. Yes, Mr. Nancy is a great character and shouldn’t have been cut in the first place, but to bring any idea that the cut was racially charged isn’t just potentially damaging to the show, it’s kind of hard to back up since American Gods has other people of color that either haven’t spoken up yet or haven’t found a need to do so. Ricky Whittle, Yetide Badaki, Omid Abtahi, Demore Barnes, and many others have thrived on this show, and as of yet had much to say when it comes to whether they’re under-utilized or taken advantage of. Fredrick Salyers of BitchMedia has more to say on this matter. In truth though, Mr. Nancy needs to be brought back, if only to keep a favored character and possibly clear this mess up.