Kurt Sutter is not one to mince words. The showrunner was fired from Mayans M.C. for reportedly being too abrasive. Now, Sutter is telling his side of the story and taking shots at Disney for trying to sanitize his work. The Sons of Anarchy creator knew a huge climate change was on the way when Disney acquired Fox earlier this year. This meant things were going to get a lot harder for Sutter, who enjoys gritty storytelling with often over the top violence and language.
A letter that Kurt Sutter wrote to his inner circle has been leaked to the public and it shows just how fed up the showrunner was with his new management. Sutter has been criticized before for being intense on the sets of his shows and in meetings with studio heads. However, he claims working for Disney is unlike anything he's ever experienced before. He explains.
"Let me begin by saying, I know who I am. I know the impact of my process. I'm intense and passionate. I take what I do very seriously. That's what having a vision manifests. And if you f**k with that vision, I'm gonna push back. When I'm right, I let the work speak for itself. When I'm wrong, I own it, make amends and fix it... I've felt the creative scrutiny of Disney from day one. Notes on scripts and cuts have been heavy handed. Demanding a level of dumbing-down story and inane PC restraints like I've never experienced before. I genuinely feared for the creative future of the storytelling. So I pushed back. Hard."
Disney reportedly let Kurt Sutter go based on data collected from human resources, according to Sutter. He went on to detail some complaints which include "hostility, favoritism and a set where no one felt safe or appreciated." Sutter does not believe this to be true and believes the studio was out to get him from day one. He had this to say.
"What pisses me off, what hurts the most, is that John Landgraf and Dana Walden sat across from me and sited a summary of a slanted truth formulated by lawyers and clerks. The truth is, the suits wanted me gone. I stepped on toes and bruised egos. And in this Disney regime, I'm dangerous to the wholesome brand. And clearly not worth the trouble. So 18 years of friendship, loyalty and producing quality television, was flushed down the drain. They threw me under the f**king bus."
John Landgraf and Dana Walden worked with Kurt Sutter on The Shield, Sons of Anarchy, Mayans M.C., and more. This is what angers him the most about the whole situation, though he still has his deal with 21st Century Fox. The latest season of Mayans M.C. saw Sutter take a backseat, which he regrets now. However, it did allow him to focus on the writing and many have praised the spin-offs second season.
While Kurt Sutter takes full responsibility for his actions, he has been hurt and feels like he has been wronged. "I feel deeply wronged. They embarrassed me. They created a false narrative that could damage my reputation and career," says the showrunner. In the end, he wants his friends, colleagues, and fans to know what really happened. Kurt Sutter's full letter can be read over at Deadline.