The course of events on the set of American Gods has never been an especially smooth one, dating back to the Starz show’s first big source of behind-the-scenes drama, when original series showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green departed the series after its first season under conditions that neither the network, nor production company Fremantle, have ever gone into much detail about. (Anonymous sources have pegged it as ranging anywhere from arguments about budgets, to conflict with author Neil Gaiman over the show’s divergence from his original source material.) Fuller’s absence necessitated some other casting changes—his old pal Gillian Anderson didn’t have much interest in sticking around once he’d flown the coop—but the series didn’t hit another major speedbump until it began filming its third season, and co-star Orlando Jones was informed that his services weren’t going to be needed—ostensibly because the show was going to be covering material in which his character, trickster god Mr. Nancy, wasn’t set to appear.
Jones swiftly declared this “horseshit,” asserting that the decision to remove him as an actor, writer, and producer on the series had far more to do with producers—and specifically the series’ latest showrunner—getting uncomfortable with the angry tone set by his character. “Don’t let these motherfuckers tell you they love Mr. Nancy,” Jones said in a Twitter video at the time. “They don’t.”
Now Jones has stepped back into the spotlight, hopping on Twitter this evening to call out series star Ricky Whittle for what Jones saw as an unwillingness to support him, and of accusing him of using “the racism card to burn ur friends house down”—that last part apparently in Whittle’s own words, as Jones leaked a series of DMs he purportedly received from the actor back in December. In the exchange, both men are pretty clearly upset, with Whittle accusing Jones of, essentially, trying to take the show down with him, while Jones calls out his former co-star for ignoring him until after he’d made a big public story out of his removal from the series.
It is, in other words, some pretty messy stuff, moving the battle from one waged solely between Jones and the show’s producers, to one being fought against the most visible representative of its cast. Jones said he decided to publish the DMs—which arrived on his Twitter feed amidst thank you messages for his fans, and more Supernatural ’shipping talk than you might expect—because he and Whittles were going to see each other at a convention in Kansas City soon.
Neither Starz, nor Fremantle have commented on this latest exchange.