SAG-AFTRA Expands Fremantle Probe To Include ‘American Gods’ Orlando Jones’ Departure

Orlando Jones

UPDATED with Fremantle’s Response: SAG-AFTRA is expanding its investigation into Fremantle following the departure of Orlando Jones on American Gods. 

This comes after the Gabrielle Carteris-led union had already began investigating the RTL-owned producer over Gabrielle Union’s exit on America’s Got Talent.

In its response, Fremantle said that it welcomes the investigation while alluding to “allegations without factual support.”

The union was already investigating Fremantle as part of a probe after she was sacked from the Simon Cowell-created NBC competition format.

It will now expand the investigation to cover Jones’ exit from the Starz drama. He was fired from the Neil Gaiman adaptation in September as it prepared to go into production for season three, having starred as trickster god Anansi, aka Mr. Nancy, as well as one season as a writer and producer.

Fremantle insisted that Jones was not fired, but that the company decided not to pick up a third-season option on his contract because of the narrative focus of the upcoming season, but Jones claimed that Fremantle had a race problem.

A SAG-AFTRA spokeswoman said, “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 [sic].”

“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,” she added.

Fremantle Friday morning responded to SAG-AFTRA’s announcement. “We welcome this investigation and intend to cooperate fully,” the company said in a statement. “Allegations without factual support should not go unchecked.  We have already informed SAG-AFTRA that we are willing to meet to discuss the allegations.”

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