What the hell is going on over at American Gods?
Soon after Orlando Jones—a series standout who played fan-favourite Mr. Nancy—announced he’d been fired from the show, another American God actor confirmed he also would not be returning for season three: Mousa Kraish, a.k.a. the Jinn.
In a message posted late yesterday, Kraish thanked the fans, American Gods writer Neil Gaiman, original showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green (who departed after the first season and were replaced by Jesse Alexander, who’s since also left the series), and Starz, and also noted that “the door isn’t closed for me” and that he’d be “happy” to return to the show to reprise his character, should the opportunity arise.
“So many of you & reaching out to me with support & love. I am so humbled & grateful for this wonderful community behind @neilhimself & #AmericanGods. I can confirm that I wasn’t asked to come back this season. It has been an honour to play the Jinn & live in his fiery eyed skin,” he wrote in part. “This character has introduced me to so much and I was proud to represent not just the Middle Eastern community in such a positive role you don’t normally see television but also the LGBTQ community that supported this character of colour that you don’t see on television…”
I also want thank @starz & the amazing team there. ❤️ The door isn’t closed for me. If I’m ever asked to come back & portray the Jinn I will do it happily & proudly to be able to stand in front of my friend @AbtahiOmid & shine with the two characters who go beyond the page…
— Mousa Kraish (@MousaKraish) December 16, 2019
For his part, Gaiman replied to Kraish’s tweet with: “Hoping very much to see you back in Season 4!” We know the next season of the show is focusing on the Lakeside storyline from Gaiman’s book, so it’s possible they decided to cut down on other plots in season three, but considering Orlando Jones’ news, it doesn’t look great overall for Starz.
American Gods’ own Shadow Moon—Ricky Whittle, who is obviously locked in for season three since his character is at the centre of the story—shared his support last night for Jones, whose role on the series extended off-camera with writing and producing duties. But Whittle also diplomatically removed himself from any controversy surrounding the new showrunner, Charles “Chic” Eglee.
“Orlando Jones is an incredible talent and friend I look up to, support and I hope we work together again. He was fun to work with, gave me seasoned advice and constantly gave award worthy performances as Mr. Nancy. Nothing but love for him,” Whittle wrote in part last night. “I’m unable to speak on his situation as I have no knowledge of what is or has transpired, I was not addressed nor am I privy to any decisions made regarding cast/storyline. Speaking only from my personal experience, Chic personally has really had my back since day one, wanting to explore Shadow in more depth. I am extremely proud of the stories we are telling in season 3.”
Nobody can break my family.I’m proud to be apart of this diverse cast & crew who are working their butts off to deliver a fantastic season 3 continuing to tell Shadows story and the awesome characters he meets along the way as in @neilhimself incredible book #readit #details???? pic.twitter.com/PahPC9j3HB
— Ricky Whittle (@MrRickyWhittle) December 16, 2019
This morning, Whittle dropped another note of positivity about the new season, complete with a pretty cute behind-the-scenes photo that he’s not actually in (above).
American Gods season three does not yet have a release date, but considering how “meh” we felt about season two—which came after a similar amount of cast and crew shake-ups; who else has a hard time remembering that Gillian Anderson used to be on this show?—we’re awaiting its return to Starz with something more akin to morbid curiosity than excitement at this point.