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Fans furious as Starz’s American Gods cuts yet another character – the fiery gay djinn, Ifrit

Emma Powys Maurice December 17, 2019
American Gods

Actor Mousa Kraish played the mythological djinn in American Gods (HBO/Starz/YouTube)

Fans of Starz’s American Gods are in uproar after showrunners made the decision to cut a key storyline – that of the fiery djinn, Ifrit, an LGBT+ character of colour.

The show had been praised for its passionate portrayal of the romance between Ifrit and Salim, a young Muslim immigrant. American Gods author Neil Gaiman described his reaction to the love story as “absolute amazement and absolute joy.”

Sadly the show has been dogged by behind-the-scenes drama when the ambitious first season went over budget and conflicts arose between the studio and network. Several showrunners were reportedly fired and many actors left the project, including A-list stars Kristen Chenoweth and Gillian Anderson.

It seems actor Mousa Kraish is the latest casualty of the show’s cuts after he confirmed to his followers on Twitter that he would not be returning to the American fantasy drama in the upcoming third season.

“I can confirm that I wasn’t asked to come back this season. It has been an honour to play the Jinn and live in his fiery-eyed skin,” he wrote.

“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.”

The news came shortly after actor Orlando Jones, who played the West African trickster god Mr Nancy, announced that he too had been axed from the show.

Mr Nancy’s story touches on themes of slavery and institutional racism in the US. Orlando claimed he was told by producers that his character sent “the wrong message for black America”.

Orlando refused to stay silent, posting a video on Saturday that made clear his thoughts on being fired from the show. “I will tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” he announced.

“All I can say is what I was told. And all l what I was told was, ‘angry gets sh*t done’ is the wrong message for black America, and that the new showrunner [Charles Eglee, a white man] writes from a black male perspective.”

Fans lamented the loss of the show’s diversity after Kraish’s sad announcement, which followed so soon after Jones’.

More: American Gods, HBO, Mousa Kraish, Neil Gaiman

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