Fans of Mayans MC received quite a surprise on Thursday afternoon when news broke that co-creator and co-showrunner Kurt Sutter, the mind behind the entire Sons of Anarchy universe, had been fired by FX and Disney. The initial reports, which stemmed from an email Sutter wrote to the cast and crew of the show, suggested that he was let go for his abrasive behavior on set. However, in a second letter from Sutter that was written to his "inner circle," the writer argues that the new ownership of FX and Fox 21 TV Studios, Disney, was always aiming to get rid of him.
Sutter has never been one to mince his words and he's run into issues dealing with authority in the past, but he seemed to always make things work with FX chairman John Landgraf. That apparently changed when Disney took over. In this letter, which was released exclusively by Deadline, Sutter says that he stood up to the "suits" at Disney and they weren't going to allow it.
"Let me begin by saying, I know who I am," Sutter writes. "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."
The initial reports suggested that Sutter created issues with his employees on the set of Mayans MC this season. But according to the producer, the only entities he had problems with were the network and the studio.
"Who I have been hard on this season is the studio and network," he continued. "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. No different than I have in the past. In fact, much tamer than I ever was on SOA. However, I was dealing with personnel who didn’t know me. And my level of… passion. Clearly I ruffled a few mouse ears."
Sutter has long had a relationship with Landgraf and new Disney TV Studios president Dana Walden, and being fired by the two of them is what bothered him the most about the entire situation.
"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. They blamed my dismissal on the cast and crew.1comments
"People I care about. People I respect. They had no first hand knowledge of anything they were saying. They’ve never been on set or spoken to any of my people. I’m not saying all of the intel was bulls**t. But I know that’s not why I was fired. 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."
You can read Sutter's full letter on Deadline.