American Gods Star Ricky Whittle Got Crazy Political At New York Comic-Con

"It doesn't get more on the nose than that."


American Gods star Ricky Whittle opened the Starz show's New York Comic-Con panel today with some politics, to the delight of most members of the audience.

"It's an important show, and we were just very fortunate. The book came out in 2001. We wrapped before the inauguration and all kinds of shit hit the fan, to be quite honest. We were just fortunate that we happened to feature all these themes in our show. And it's very important that we don't make this normal, this kind of way of life that we seem to be living at the moment," he said. "We were like, 'Never gonna happen.' But it did! 'It's not gonna get worse.' It did! 'Yeah, but they don't do that.' They did! That can't ever, ever, ever, ever become normal, where we're just like, ugh, what's happening today? No. Excuse my language, f**k that. No."

"I don't want to get too political," he said after an uproarious round of applause. ("A little late for that," interjected Pablo Schreiber, who plays Mad Sweeney on American Gods.)

"I was really inspired yesterday morning," Whittle continued. "I was in the gym, and a soldier was talking to me, and he said, 'I didn't put my life on the line for anyone to tell people--free people, never mind the president--what they're allowed to kneel for in their life.' It's not about the flag. It's not about the anthem. Colin Kaepernick and all these sports stars love America. They love the flag. They love the anthem. It's never been about that, and we need to focus on what it's about. And with our show, we're keeping stuff in conversation which needs to be happening. We're talking about immigration. We're talking about racism, sexism. We're talking bout homophobia. We're talking about gay rights. We're talking about gun control. All of this stuff matters. All of this stuff cannot be normal. We need to be having these conversations every day. And not just having conversations--how about we start making stuff happen?"

No Caption Provided

"I pissed myself laughing when Kanye said he was going to run," he concluded. "I will take Kanye in a second." The crowd's cheers drowned out any further politicizing.

Whittle's not exaggerating when he emphasizes American Gods' culturally relevant content. He said the scene where his character Shadow Moon--a man of color--gets lynched by a mob of faceless white creatures was especially powerful for him.

"We seem to think that this stuff's over...these racist bits, they're important, and we need to keep raising them up," he said. "You have a black man being hung by a tree surrounded by faceless goons dressed all in white. It doesn't get more on the nose than that, and it really is powerful."

"I think that's one of the real strengths of the show, to be honest with you," Schreiber said later. "We have a story that is about immigration. It's about all of the different voices and kinds of people that have lent themselves to create this country and make it what it is, and so it's being told by a number of outsiders--a number of immigrants to this country, people who live here now, without an outsider's point of view on it. And that's what's important about the show. That's why it is what it is."

Beyond all that, the cast mainly discussed stories from set and their audition processes. Yetide Badaki, who plays Bilquis, revealed that her character's infamous introduction on the show--in which the Goddess of Love swallows a man into her vagina--was the first scene she shot.

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"That's when I realized--I already knew this [show] was going to be an event, but seeing all of that was truly something special," she said.

The cast and moderator, Vulture's Abraham Reisman, made sure to note that they weren't going to reveal anything about American Gods Season 2, but Schreiber did let one thing slip. He said the show going forward will feature more episodes that focus on one character's story, like the Season 1 episode "A Prayer For Mad Sweeney," which explored Schreiber's character's backstory. "I know that we're going to have opportunities for all of the cast to have their own, like, sort of standalone things where you really get to focus on one character for an entire episode," he said. "So I'm excited for everybody else to do those as well."

Other than that little tidbit, the American Gods panel at New York Comic-Con didn't offer fans much in the way of Season 2 teases. But everyone who was in the audience knows that we'll always have Ricky Whittle's epic rant.

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Avatar image for southsouthsac

These creeps still don't get it LOL. The loonier the left gets, more and more normals in their base will be pushed the other way. I'm one of them.

Avatar image for edwardnygma

@southsouthsac: Ditto

Avatar image for lionheartssj1

Don't go Gawker Network on us Gamespot. They can't seem to get past their own worldview when talking about ANYTHING. We want to read about games and other fun stuff. Doesn't mean we're not acknowledging there's problems in the world, but we all need outlets that aren't brow-beating, soul crushing reminders of the politicized state of things.

Avatar image for Xylymphydyte

Every time celebrities lecture us about politics/economics/religion/morality/really anything that isn't doing their job of playing make believe.

Avatar image for ToadstoolPeach

There are serious issues that really do need to be addressed, that's why we need to fix them together not apart and this diatribe of "you either agree with me or you're a racist/sexist/bigot" is driving a wedge between people.

Avatar image for edwardnygma

I love how a celebrity who is probably less intelligent than the average American and is living a privileged life thinks he can preach to us about topics he doesn't even comprehend.

It is very obvious there are two sides to this country now. Those people (conservatives/independents) who want laws and want to be proud of our country and want to have general discussions on issues. The other side (liberals) who have been brainwashed by our corrupt media want anarchy, open borders, disrespect to our country and patriots who DIED protecting our rights and want to label anyone who disagrees with them as racists/homophobes/blah blah blah. The same group who supports terroristic hate groups like Antifa, etc.

Sad to see Gamespot pushing articles like this recently. Why is a gaming website even involving itself with this garbage?

Avatar image for Saladudo

He went full libtard. Never go full libtard.

Avatar image for proxima1025

Is this Gamespot or Politcalspot/Moviespot/Newspot?

Avatar image for Saladudo

@proxima1025: this is nothing compared to the years Caroline Petit was here around.

Avatar image for jZangetsu21

@proxima1025: These days Gamespot will post about a cat that did something kinda interesting if it will get them clicks.

Avatar image for The_Inebriator

**** off Whittle. You’re a hack actor and the show runners are shitting all over a great novel. Even though I may agree with some of your beliefs, I’m so tired of celebrities (or wannabes in this case) preaching to the public like they know what’s best for us. People are going to disagree on issues from time to time. With the exception of a few obvious moral issues, there are no right or wrong answers. So stop acting like your worldview is the moral authority and anybody who sees things differently is an evil asshole. Just do your fucking job and shut the **** up.

Avatar image for Musharasur

@The_Inebriator: Celebrities can be pretty convincing to some. Look no further than the current president of the United States.

Avatar image for Renunciation

@The_Inebriator: Although I don't agree with him at all, it must be understood that he is merely speaking on behalf of his rich and privileged media masters. He will continue to revel in fame and fortune as long as he is fully obedient and plays along.

He says, "We need to be having these conversations every day" -- but conversations are a two-way street, and they aim to shut down the other side of the conversation by labeling it all as "hatred" and "intolerance". If I were to write a full rebuttal to his statements, it would certainly get erased from this website, and most other websites as well. Counter-signaling is increasingly prohibited, much to the delight of those who would favor a global egalitarian system presided over by a ruthless (and very un-equal) group of elites.

His so-called "entertainment" business is not at all concerned with solving cultural and societal issues; it only agitates and provokes tensions further. It's shallow sensationalist crap to disrupt people who might otherwise stray off the path to find knowledge and answers for today's tensions and strife. To give credit where credit is due, it is a successful racket; the business hauls in big buckets of cash from the worn-out hoi polloi who are desperate for entertainment, insight, and purpose in today's decaying modern globalist western society.

So if he wants to sing and dance for his paychecks, that's what he's going to do. For the rest of us, we can only decide whether or not to continue buying into the "realities" they manufacture and sell.

I might well have been cheering on Mr. Whittle 30, 20, or perhaps even as recently as 10 years ago. Yet, time has a way of revealing truths -- and I was open-minded enough to see the falsehoods hidden at the heart of "being open-minded", and you may certainly interpret that as you see fit.

Avatar image for edwardnygma

@Renunciation: Wow. Well said. Seriously well said.

Avatar image for musicman65000

@The_Inebriator: Preach, Preacher!

Avatar image for redviperofdorne

It's honestly a 50/50 split as to who views it as disrespectful and who doesn't. Personally, I feel that kneeling isn't disrespectful and am pretty frustrated that this is the hot button issue. Not the fact that we doing mass deportations of illegal immigrants who haven't done anything wrong other than wanting a better life in America. The insane amount of police brutality going on. Gun control, Even more so after the attack in Vegas. And Transgenders, Who were treated to a nice little thing called injustice by Sessions ruling that the Civil Rights law doesn't apply to them. Oh and let's not forget Trump trying to install that travel ban on Muslim countries lmao.

This entire country is a joke. And yeah I'm sure I'll have people say if you hate it then leave. No, I won't. I'm staying because I love it here. My frustration proves how much I love it because I truly feel that America should be for everyone. We shouldn't discriminate anyone because of their skin color, religion or sexual orientation. We shouldn't let these stupid things divide us. We need to fight for a better America. We need to do away with these injustices and focus on building a future where everyone can thrive. By ignoring the obvious and doing nothing about it, You become the problem.

Avatar image for edwardnygma

@redviperofdorne: "Not the fact that we doing mass deportations of illegal immigrants who haven't done anything wrong"

Annnddd instant credibility lost. It is obvious you are a liberal so I won't even waste my time pointing out the glaring fallacies with your entire statement.

Avatar image for Barighm

@edwardnygma: "Those people (conservatives/independents) who want laws and want to be proud of our country and want to have general discussions on issues.

It is obvious you are a liberal so I won't even waste my time pointing out the glaring fallacies with your entire statement."

Hypocrite confirmed.

Avatar image for redviperofdorne

Now did I say we should have open borders? No. I will expand on is my statement of illegal immigrants. If a person comes over here illegally because they want a better life and are working hard, obeying the laws and just trying to make things better for themselves, Who are we to turn them away? Especially when we are a country built from immigrants. Our immediate response shouldn't be - Go back where you came from. And as for the criminals who come over, What can you truly do? Prison crowds things up and if you deport them, They just come back. Wanna build a wall and think that will solve all your problems? Hahaha. First off, They can't even get the money to build the wall which is gonna take years to build but secondly, Who is gonna pay to man every inch of it? If you think a wall is gonna solve this problem, You have another thing coming.

And secondly, You are very ignorant. Islam has 1.6 billion followers (if recent studies are correct). You mean to tell me every single one of them wants to kill non-believers. If that's the case, Why don't we have a holy war on our hands? No. What you have is a group of select idiots who use religion as an excuse for their crimes. Now I don't agree with Islam nor most religions to be honest but if they practice in peace, Who am I to judge them? Especially when RELIGIOUS FREEDOM is a cornerstone of America. If anything, Throw some shade at the top religion (Christianity) who have done just as much, if not more, killing in the name of "God" than any follower of Islam has.

The West isn't being destroyed. Wanna know what is bringing down the US down? The insane over spending we have in this country. They've nearly drained social security dry so there goes help for seniors. We have a bloated defense budget which could and should be used else where. We have an issue with jobs paying low wages, no benefits and yet these businesses rake in millions and billions each year so explain that one to me. The fight for 15 isn't a joke, It should be a must. We have an insane cost of living in this country that makes it hard for the average joe to afford even something simple as an apartment by himself, Let alone a house and a car. That's why you have so many people on these social programs like food stamps and welfare. If you gave better wages, You wouldn't have to waste that extra money on the social programs.

But that is what the government wants. They want the people to be dependent on them so the people don't realize how terrible they're being treated. The poor get poorer, The middle class gets shafted with it all and the rich keep getting richer. It's a harsh truth but open your eyes.

Avatar image for Renunciation

@redviperofdorne: "Who are we to turn them away?"

We are people already competing with each other for jobs in an increasingly automatized workforce, competing for living space and natural resources, and struggling to reconcile many different values and beliefs -- which are really not at all "bad or evil" on their own. Other people have their own concepts of what "good and evil" are, and it is certainly encouraged for them to pursue those beliefs under the banner of Religious Freedom. When their own beliefs collide with existing legislation, the laws gradually bend to accommodate those beliefs. When laws do not change to accommodate the more "extreme" elements, well: to paraphrase, "Who are we to say that is unfortunate?" Changes in law create changes in society, there is no doubt. Why is this an advisable thing to be doing? We tell each other as individuals, "Embrace yourself, and be proud of who you are! Stand tall for what you represent as an individual!" Is this not good advice for nations, as well?

(Let me be clear: I have no personal resentment of foreign beliefs and values; indeed, they interest me and lead me to ponder the historical circumstances which led to their current state of existence. I have a small personal library, but it does contain several books about Islamic art and architecture -- both topics with heavy emphasis on mosques -- and numerous translations of classic Taoist texts. If you're willing to believe me: I didn't buy them to feel smart. Nor did I buy them because my government or education system or community pushed me to, nor did they ban any of the books outright -- and these are both very good things. We are still allowed to think and study freely, for now -- despite being pushed toward the opposing narratives fed to us by government and the industrial media.)

You criticized the government in writing, "But this is what the government wants" -- and it's the same government people have been complaining about for years -- largely due to its inability to form a cohesive decision on critical issues "both foreign and domestic", to borrow a phrase. Action and progress are things achieved when internal struggles have been resolved. An exception for people would be physical reflexes -- inherently, actions devoid of conscious thought. The internal struggles in the government are a result of internal struggles among the population -- and those physical reflexes are kicking in. If I'm not mistaken, you seem to detest people's reliance on government. (So do I.) It must be asked, then: can these internal struggles be resolved -- and, if so, by which entities? Government is both a possibility and a punch-line. This dichotomy is as much of a "western world" problem as the spending you mentioned -- which I will get to soon.

I must ask: Which countries are freely accepting poor-to-average American immigrants to help guide their own countries toward more civil and just societies with more prosperous communities? I'm not 100% sure, but I believe it is a very short list -- and rightly it should be. The people whose ancestors built those countries over centuries ought to be able to decide their own fates. For example, I do not agree with China's growing presence in Africa and Tibet. For the past few decades, the U.S. has economically contributed to China's expansion through offshoring many of its own jobs.

Moreover, many countries recognize the U.S. as the military power it has been -- a military too often used to push economical and political agendas. As USMC Major General Smedley Butler wrote in 1933: "I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism." ...How much has that changed in the past 84 years? Not much, I'd think.

Big Business, Wall Street, and the Bankers: all now more international and powerful than ever, thanks to the globalist economy which both parties have created. Exporting jobs while importing immigrants who allegedly seek jobs. Immigration, particularly immigration in western society, is an integral part of globalist philosophy, helping the powerful and wealthy increase their status by inflaming cultural and societal differences through the media -- Ricky Whittle, in this particular case. As you wrote, "The poor get poorer, The middle class gets shafted with it all and the rich keep getting richer." To put this in plain words: immigration is part of a system which seeks to turn the U.S. and the western world itself into the same types of countries that the U.S. has been militarily and economically exploiting for years. By enforcing integration of clashing cultures, the powerful and wealthy create a strong diversion from their own crimes and dealings. All of the "progress" we are pushed towards is supposed to result in a harmonious society; the result has nothing but power-grabbing progress for the elite.

I would then ask why you and others continue buying into this system. There are certainly some people who support such a system because they do not want to be called "hateful" and "intolerant". But I'm not asking for a real response. I'd just like for people to think about the concepts they adhere to, and what real-world results those concepts lead to.

Avatar image for deactivated-5b2072723fac3

Shut the fuuuuuuck up

Avatar image for Prats1993

1) Kneeling during the anthem is wrong and most Americans agree

2) Colin Kaepernick does not love America.

Shut up and stick to acting.

Avatar image for OtakuD50

@Prats1993: "Wrong." "Most."


Avatar image for agramonte

wow - that step and repeat is awful! Attack of the killer logos.

Avatar image for Kintaro5000

"...but Schreiber did let one thing slip. He said the show going forward will feature more episodes that focus on one character's story, like the Season 1 episode "A Prayer For Mad Sweeney," which explored Schreiber's character's backstory. "I know that we're going to have opportunities for all of the cast to have their own, like, sort of standalone things where you really get to focus on one character for an entire episode,""

That was arguably one of the worst additions to the television show. I really enjoyed the first season but they've been making some strange decisions so far. Gonna have to trust Bryan Fuller on this one, because I don't get it.