SAG-AFTRA Adds ‘American Gods’ to Investigation of Fremantle and ‘America’s Got Talent’

Union announced additional probe on Friday

Orlando Jones, Gabrielle Union

SAG-AFTRA is expanding its investigation of Fremantle Media to include “American Gods” in addition to “America’s Got Talent.”

The actors’ union had an existing investigation into the firing of Gabrielle Union from the production company’s “America’s Got Talent,” but announced Friday that it would add “American Gods” to the investigation following actor Orlando Jones’ claim that his firing from the Starz series had to do with race.

“After initial meetings with Gabrielle Union and her representatives about her experiences on ‘America’s Got Talent,’ and after learning more about Orlando Jones’s experience on ‘American Gods,’ SAG-AFTRA is expanding its investigation of Fremantle Media,” the union said in a statement.

“Our enforcement actions are handled confidentially to protect the members involved, and we typically do not publicize these matters unless the affected members request that we do so.”

In a statement to TheWrap Friday, a spokesperson for Fremantle said: “We welcome this investigation and intend to cooperate fully. Allegations without factual support should not go unchecked.  We have already informed SAG-AFTRA that we are willing to meet to discuss the allegations.”

SAG-AFTRA got involved in Union’s firing from “AGT” on Dec. 1 after she went public with her story, and other actors including Patricia Arquette called on the union to help.

“We take issues of workplace health and safety very seriously. We immediately reached out to Ms. Union’s representatives when these reports came to light,” the union told TheWrap at the time. “It is our practice to work closely with members who reach out to us and their representatives in instances like this, as that usually affords the best protection and best resolution for the affected member.”

Jones, who played Mr. Nancy on “American Gods,” took to Twitter last week to tell his side of the story, explaining that he believes he was fired because showrunner Charles Eglee told him his character sent “the wrong message to black America.”

He also took issue with Fremantle specifically.

“I was fired Sept 10, 2019 like [Gabrielle Union],” he said in a tweet, adding that Fremantle “is a nightmare. They treated you like a 2nd class citizen for doing your job to well.” 

Reps for Eglee have said Jones’ claims against him are inaccurate.