Starz’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s book American Gods has had a troubled life on the network. After a successful first season, showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green exited in a dispute. Season 2 showrunner Jesse Alexander left before it aired. Season 3 has dropped cast members Orlando Jones and Mousa Kraish, with Jones claiming his firing was racially motivated.
Starz President and CEO Jeffrey Hirsch gave an executive session for the Television Critics Association on Tuesday. /Film asked for clarification on Jones’ firing, although Hirsch mostly backed up production company Freemantle’s version of event.No room for Mr. Nancy
Jones posted a Twitter video on December 14, 2019 explaining why he was fired from American Gods, a firing which allegedly occurred September 10. Jones said season 3 showrunner Charles Eglee told Jones his character’s anger was “the wrong message for black America.”
Freemantle responded saying the show was focusing on a section of the book that did not include Mr. Nancy. Hirsch confirmed that was the reason.
“Orlando’s a tremendous talent and actually more importantly, he’s a really great person,” Hirsch said. “The book is a very rich and dense book of story, and unfortunately the season that we’re putting up in Season 3, Mr. Nancy does not have a role in this story. And so, unfortunately, that’s the case of the book. It is one of the most diverse casts on television and we think Chic’s doing a great job and mounting a great show for us to come back for Season 3.”
Hirsch is correct that American Gods still represents a lot of diversity. Ricky Whittle, Yetide Badaki and Omid Abtahi are still main characters. Still, they didn’t fire the white guys. There are whole sections of the book Mr. Wednesday isn’t in, but Ian McShane still has a job.That still doesn’t explain ‘wrong message for black America’
Mr. Nancy does feature again later in the book, so it seems strange to terminate Jones rather than keep him available for future seasons. As for the message Jones allegedly received from Eglee, Hirsch wouldn’t comment.
“I’m not going to comment on the message that was sent,” Hirsch said. “Unfortunately, the book is a very, very rich book. It’s got a lot of depth to it. I don’t know if you’ve read it, but it’s over 800 pages of great story. And Chic and the team decided they’d be in an area where Mr. Nancy doesn’t play a prominent role. And so, that’s where we are. We think the show’s gonna be great. The fans are looking forward to coming back, and we’re pretty excited about it.”
It’s not like this adaptation has been slavish to the book. Laura Moon Emily Browning is hardly in the book and they gave Mad Sweeney Pablo Schreiber a much bigger role, so this was at their discretion. In...
Though “The Plot Against America” took its time to get going, it’s full steam ahead for David Simon’s Philip Roth adaptation by Episode 4 — but to what end? With just two episodes to go, the drama has certainly flared up: The Levin familial bonds are being pushed to the brink as Sandy falls increasingly under Lindbergh’s spell, with the help of Aunt Evelyn and her new boyfriend Rabbi Bengelsdorf. The lines have been drawn, and it’s not looking good for either side. While this was by far the most exciting episode so far, it still feels as though Simon is obligingly following Roth’s outline rather than forging his own path.
In both the novel and the series “The Plot Against America,” there’s an unmentioned but implicit rhetorical question reaching out from beyond the page and screen. To borrow from the musical “Cabaret,” one of the only pieces of pop culture to artfully grapple with this unthinkable dilemma: What would you do? If a fascist were elected president of your country, if your sister started dating one of his shills, if your son was secretly sketching his visage by flashlight — how would you behave? Would you flee to Canada, organize the resistance, or stick your head in the sand and hope for the best?
The fourth episode hones in on these questions with laser-like precision, enjoying the fruits of the preceding three episodes that felt, both in retrospect and in real time, mostly like set-up. Having returned from his “Just Folks” adventure in Kentucky, a Hitler Youth-esque recruiting tool of Rabbi Bengelsdorf’s John Turturro design, Sandy has quite literally become the poster child for assimilationist Jews. Evelyn Winona Ryder proudly features him in a brochure for the program, against Bess’ Zoe Kazan wishes.
Sandy’s transformation has been building since the pilot episode, which ended with him surreptitiously sketching Charles Lindbergh from of a newspaper clipping. Having planted the seeds deliberately, the show earns its most uncomfortable moment so far when Sandy spits at his parents, calling them “ghetto Jews — narrow-minded ghetto Jews.” His transformation is complete. When Bess slaps him across the face, it’s hard not to let out a silent cheer. Your Jewish firstborn becoming a Nazi sympathizer may be the rare instance when a kid deserves a good wallop.
Less effective is a Shabbas dinner argument between Herman Morgan Spector and Bengelsdorf, where Herman puts aside any last shred of civility to tell the Rabbi what he really thinks of his man Lindbergh. Maybe it’s the fact that only the men are talking while the women make sidelong glances of...
HBO is reportedly going to begin paying cast members on shows that have had their production impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Deadline reported that HBO has agreed to a payment schedule that will include giving actors 25 percent of their pay now, 25 percent when production on their shows was supposed to start, and the remaining 50 percent when filming commences. The publication provided no indication that below the line employees or other workers would receive payments.
An HBO spokesperson did not return a request for comment.
The HBO news came one week after Netflix made headlines for beginning to minimum guarantees to cast members on its shows that have been impacted by coronavirus-related production shutdowns. Like Netflix, HBO parent company WarnerMedia is pledging $100 million in relief to workers affected by production shutdowns.
The Deadline report also noted that other studios are still pondering their options, with some of their labor executives arguing that the production delays are essentially hiatuses, therefore meaning that actors should not be paid. The publication noted that the SAG-AFTRA union reportedly does not agree with the hiatus arguments and may threaten to file grievances if the issue is not resolved.
It is unclear if actors on the following programs will be paid by HBO, but HBO series that have had their production impacted by the coronavirus include “Succession,” “Barry,” “The Righteous Gemstones,” and “Euphoria.”
While the coronavirus has caused significant disruptions across the entertainment industries, streaming services and other television platforms are reportedly enjoying considerable spikes in popularity as more consumers hole up indoors. WarnerMedia recently announced that HBO Now has enjoyed a surge in popularity and the company also said that overall television viewing across the industry has grown by 20 percent recently. WarnerMedia is still expected to release its upcoming HBO Max streaming service in May.
There are several organizations and programs offering financial aid to entertainment industry employees whose livelihoods have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
IndieWire is keeping track of all of the entertainment industry's events and projects that have been impacted by the outbreak. IndieWire is also tracking the industry's ongoing events and positive happenings during the pandemic, including Netflix's new and upcoming film and television releases.
He also played the police chief in 'Beverly Hills Cop II' and mogul Louis B. Mayer in 'Gable and Lombard.'
Allen Garfield, the New Jersey character actor who specialized in playing nervous types while appearing in such films as The Conversation, The Candidate, The Stunt Man and Nashville, has died. He was 80.
His sister, Lois Goorwitz, confirmed his death in a brief conversation with The Hollywood Reporter.
Earlier, actress Ronee Blakley posted the news of Garfield's death on Facebook, saying that he had died Tuesday and that the cause was COVID-19. Garfield and Blakley played husband and wife in Robert Altman's Nashville 1975.
Garfield suffered a stroke as he was set to appear in Roman Polanski's The Ninth Gate 1999, then suffered another one in 2004 that led him to reside at the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital in Woodland Hills. A spokeswoman for the MPTF facility did not know if Garfield was there at the time of his death.
Born Allen Goorwitz on Nov. 22, 1939, in Newark, he went by his real name in several films, including The Brink's Job 1978 and One From the Heart 1981, midway through his career.
Garfield boxed as an amateur, worked as a sportswriter and studied with Lee Strasberg and Elia Kazan at the Actors Studio in New York. He appeared often onstage before making his film debut in Orgy Girls '69, followed by other big-screen appearances in 1971 in Woody Allen's Bananas and The Organization, starring Sidney Poitier.
Often playing jumpy types, he worked for Francis Ford Coppola in The Conversation 1974 and The Cotton Club 1984 and for Wim Wenders in A State of Things 1982 and Until the End of the World 1991.
He also portrayed Louis B. Mayer in Gable and Lombard 1976 and police chief Harold Lutz in Beverly Hills Cop II 1987, and his résumé also included roles in Teachers 1984, Desert Bloom 1986, Dick Tracy 1990, Destiny Turns on the Radio 1995 and The Majestic 2001.
"The reason I didChief Zabu is that Allen Garfield is from the Actors Studio, I'm from the Actors Studio, and we worked together there on stuff," actress Marianna Hill said in a 2016 interview with Shaun Chang for the Hill Place blog. "Allen Garfield happens to be a great actor. He's a really underrated actor. Allen was the hardest-working actor, but nobody realizes that about him because he seems to be a natural."
Source: Hollywood Reporter