Having already decided that I wasn’t going to continue to watch American Gods on the Starz network, I was mostly unconcerned with any developments to the show. With apologies to Neil Gaiman, I thought the novel was quite good, but the show itself was lacking a great many things. (See my previous post on the subject, http://billbodden.com/2019/04/29/american-gods-wandering-in-the-desert-for-30-years/)
I was therefore stunned to learn that, earlier this month, the new showrunner had not asked Orlando Jones back to reprise his role as the African god, Mr. Nancy. Jones was one of the best things about this show, and now he’s gone too. Close on the heels of this came the announcement from Mousa Kraish, (he played the Jinn) that he was also not asked back. In Jones’ case, he was given to understand that “Angry gets shit done!” (from a speech his character gives to a shipload of African slaves before they revolt) is not the type of message that should be sent to Americans.
Imagine that: a white guy whose mode of dress practically screams “I demand you recognize my street cred!” is telling a black man what message he should be sending to other people of color.
In the case of Mousa Kraish, I can only assume that Mr. Street Cred was underwhelmed by the gay sex scene in which Mr. Kraish was involved, and is moving to cleanse any remaining taint from it right out of the show. Mr. Kraish is also a Palestinian, and has said some blunt things on Twitter about Israel’s treatment of his people. No official announcement has been made as to why Mr. Kraish has not been asked back, and perhaps I assume too much, but honestly, reading between the lines here isn’t very difficult.
My decision made months ago to not continue watching American Gods looks prescient now. Honestly, I still would’ve gone back to watching if I thought there was any hope of it getting better, but alas, these developments have only strengthened my resolve. Besides, we have better things to do with our money than subscribing to Starz and supporting this kind of garbage decision-making and behavior.