Reviews for Starz’s “American Gods” series have so far been unanimously stellar, a series based on the Neil Gaiman novel and which Bryan Fuller (“Hannibal”) and Michael Green (“Kings”) serve on as showrunners.
At a recent preview screening of the opening episode, the pair revealed that the premium cabler didn’t just allow but encouraged ‘equal opportunity nudity’ in the series which boasts intense doses of graphic violence and sex.
Premium cable channels have come under fire for only focusing on female nudity in the past, specifically HBO and especially its flagship series “Game of Thrones” with even that show’s stars talking about the double standard.
Starz has actively pushed back against the one-sided trend before with shows like “Black Sails” and “Da Vinci’s Demons” boasting a surprising amount of wang and male buttocks along with plenty of breasts and female frontal action.
Asked about the amount of nudity in the first half of the season, Green tells Screen Rant that it was very necessary to the story and so there was no removing it:
“‘Equal opportunity’ was the actual term. They knew that there was going to be sexual content in this show, we were clear that our sexual content was always going to be uncuttable in the sense that it would be related to character and story and be presented as artfully as anything else.
If there is a sex scene in a show or film that if you eliminated it, someone can still appreciate the emotional journeys of the characters, then it probably wasn’t done right – or at least that’s how we went about it.”
Fuller, who joked Starz loves c–k, elaborated on the refreshingly relaxed approach the network took towards the show’s content:
“Starz said upfront that they encouraged the male nudity because they didn’t want to take a hit on this show having female nudity but not male nudity. They were encouraging, [saying], ‘If you want to do more male nudity, we have no problem with it… if you’re going to do nudity, do everybody – not just the ladies'”
Green added that the network said they were also perfectly fine with episodes without any nudity, just whatever they do – “do it artfully, [and] do it with our support.” Author Neil Gaiman was also in attendance and was asked about a spinoff based on “Anansi Boys”. Gaiman sadly says that’s unlikely due to rights issues:
“The rights to Anansi Boys are currently elsewhere, they’re with a couple of UK production companies … who have been working on putting it together for the BBC for a few years. What will happen there remains to be seen. I hope they get to make it, if they don’t, probably the rights will wander back here, unless someone swoops in and decides to make a movie of it first.”
“American Gods” kicks off its eight episode run on Starz this Sunday.