Mayans MC and Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter has been fired from FX. Back in August, Sutter announced that he would be stepping down from his role as executive producer in the event that Mayans MC was renewed for season 3. Speaking to an audience at a Hollywood screening, Sutter explained that, as a white man, it was time for him to leave the building. Elaborating further, Sutter noted that a person of color should be in charge of the writers’ room since the Sons of Anarchy spinoff was about a Mexican biker gang. Elgin James, the show’s co-creator and an executive producer since the first season, would be stepping into the position vacated by Sutter.
While the questions about the drama’s future remain up in the air, it’s confirmed that Sutter will no longer be involved behind the scenes. Premiering on FX in 2018, Mayans MC continued the Sons of Anarchy saga. Focusing on the Mayans Motorcycle Club, the series took place two and a half years after the events of the events of the original series. The spinoff has dealt with issues of immigration and feelings of isolation. It hasn’t been afraid to tackle contentious political issues either. Mayans MC, on the whole, has earned positive reviews. But it seems that Sutter’s attempt to leave the show behind, regardless of his intentions, might have backfired.
According to THR, Sutter was fired after what has been described by sources as multiple complaints about his behavior. Sutter himself seemed to confirm this. In a letter sent to the cast and crew of the biker drama, he went into detail about his dismissal and described himself in disparaging terms. Reflecting on his decision to hand over control of the show, Sutter conceded that it might have caused feelings of hostility and a sense of abandonment. He apologized for what he referred to as his arrogance and chronic distraction, reiterating his faith in the ability of Elgin James to carry the mantle forward. For those who wanted him gone, he wrote, they had won.
Hours after the news of Sutter’s dismissal began making the rounds, Deadline obtained a copy of another letter which Sutter had sent to his inner circle. In it, he said that he experienced creative scrutiny from Disney. These included, according to Sutter, notes on his scripts and heavy-handed cuts. He also cited instances where the story was dumbed down, deriding what he believed to be “inane PC restrains.” He said that, fearing for the future of creative storytelling, he pushed back hard. Read an excerpt of Sutter’s letter below.
“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***ing bus.”
Sutter was dismissed from Mayans MC by John Landgraf, who is the FX Networks Chairman, and Dana Walden. Walden is the head of Disney TV Studios. What’s interesting is that, for now, Sutter remains under the eight-figure deal he signed with 20th Century Fox Television. There’s still a possibility, down the line, that cooler heads will prevail.