American Gods star Ian McShane sounds warning on TV streaming

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Actor Ian McShane has criticised television streaming services, describing them as the product of a capitalist society.

He added that while we have to accept technological developments, it is crucial that we do not "lose touch with the old".

His comments came at a launch event for American Gods, an Amazon Prime series based on Neil Gaiman's 2001 sci-fi novel.

The 74-year-old actor plays shady character Wednesday, secretly intent on wiping out chunks of humanity's history when he meets Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), a released convict desperately trying to return home in time for his wife's (Emily Browning) funeral.

The show's eight episodes will broadcast individually on Amazon Prime next month.

Speaking of services that allow viewers to download entire seasons at a time, McShane told the Press Association: "It's all about maximising profit, so when you change that, then you might start changing the world.

"It's a capitalist society we live in, creators have to maximise and pay those shareholders - I'm not the hugest fan of it but that's what it's all about.

"You can't deny that things are changing, but you can't lose touch with the old.

"Getting rid of technology wouldn't be a bad thing - there are simple things, like writing, that we aren't prepared to do any more."

Whittle also chipped in on the debate, though he admitted he had spent more time sharing photos of the London event on Thursday via social media rather than enjoying the moment.

"The book came out before the iPhone was even invented," he said, "so it is very forward-thinking in that way.

"We have evolved to become so accustomed to technology and to media and we have this perfect platform to raise awareness about what's important in life, but it's just that human touch that we are losing.

"We stop going around to talk to people, we just text or email them - even I have been Instagramming this moment rather than just enjoying it."

Speaking via a video message, Gaiman himself agreed that the question of technology overtaking our lives "feels more relevant than when I originally wrote the story".

Bruce Langley, who plays the ever-updating and bloody-minded Technical Boy in the show, added that television shows and films have a responsibility to portray such subjects.

He told the Press Association: "Any form of art has to reflect society, we have the ability to decide what we show and what we draw attention to and what questions we raise.

"We raise some serious questions in this show, we don't pull any punches, we have an obligation to take this seriously."

American Gods is available in the UK from May 1.