UPDATE, 6:20 PM: Kurt Sutter responded this afternoon to those who have savaged his Sons of Anarchy season debut over its school shooting scene. That includes the Parents Television Council, which used the FX drama’s episode to once again demand that Washington allow consumers to buy networks a la carte. “Obviously there is some blowback today,” Sutter said in a webcast on his WTF web page. “The PTC — I would imagine these are not evil people, but they’re just not very intelligent or intuitive people. … The fact that these people want to be monitoring what my children watch is terrifying. He suggested the PTC’s “simplistic, dangerous view” is “perhaps influenced by certain religious groups and people with other agendas” which, “whenever that stuff crosses the line into censorship, it’s just scary, not just on a creative level but on a personal level”.
He apologized to viewers upset with the episode because they have been personally involved in one of the school shootings and suffer for it every day of their lives. But, he noted, ”that is a very small percentage of us.” “I’m a storyteller. … I haves a god given gift that I can share with you and perhaps entertain you and bring you along for the ride. … So when anybody tries to take that away from me, or impede that, I get defensive.” He insisted the episode was necessary because the show’s hero, “or anti-hero, is a father of young boys of that age, who’s trying to protect them from the dangerous component of his outlaw life, and he deals guns. To suggest that piece of his life could not impede and bleed into the other areas of his life and that he’d be able to keep them separate — to me that’s irresponsible,” Sutter wrote. “These guys turning these guns out on the street, selling them to people, unaware of who’s using them and what they’re being used for — to suggest that those guns could not fall into the hands of people that were going to hurt other people, including children … that’s ignorant … that’s almost more irresponsible.”
He said he hoped the episode has “ripped the fucking scab off” in this country, forcing people to “have the conversation again” that they always have in the immediate aftermath of one of these school shootings but then don’t follow through on, as the “balm” of time settles over them and they get comfortable and unafraid again. “It’s the Groundhog Day experience,” he said. “For me, the PTC — they’re just fucking ridiculous.
“So again, a big thank you for the people who are tuning in, and until somebody kicks in my door and tackles me to the ground and cuts off my fucking hands, I’m going to keep doing what I do. So fuck them. And thank you.”
PREVIOUS: This week’s super-awesome — or super-horrifying, depending on your TV critic of choice — series-ratings-record-breaking season debut of FX’s Sons Of Anarchy demonstrated once again that you can’t beat drugs, prostitution, slaughter of children, crooked cops, rock music, and death by urine, when looking to gin up a crowd for an aging biker drama. It’s also a really effective way to drum up support for a-la-carte cable.
“The Parents Television Council is calling on its members to contact Congress to express the urgent need for a consumer cable choice solution in response to the violent and sexually graphic premiere of FX’s Sons Of Anarchy, which featured a young boy committing a school shooting, simulated rape scenes, torture of women, and a man who was drowned in a bathtub of urine,” PTC complained this morning.
“Think about the parents who have been personally affected by real-life school shootings – even they were forced to contribute to FX on their cable bills. This is an outrage, and the time for consumers to have real choice has come,”PTC president Tim Winter said in his organization’s expression of outrage.
He dismissed that old “change the channel” gag as “a lazy excuse from the cable industry’s own talking points that does not address the real problem.” Finally, PTC got to the main event: a plug for the a-la-carte-pushing Television Consumer Freedom Act: “It’s time for consumers to have a real voice in what they want to pay for on their cable bills.”
And those faux school-shooting victims will not have died in vain.