Warning: This story contains frequent explicit language
As he has in the past on similar matters, Sons Of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter tonight eviscerated AMC over its treatment of former The Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont in their legal battle. With his ire focused on the cabler’s attempt early this morning to shame The Shawshank Redemption director by dumping expletive filled emails of Darabont’s into the public record as a part of filings in the lawsuit over profits from the zombie apocalypse blockbuster, Sutter called AMC’s actions a “#c**tmove” on social media on Thursday night.
Among the thousands of pages of documents unsealed in the early morning hours on Thursday in the $280 million suit (over backend payments and claims of “self-dealing” on the part of AMC by setting an unrealistically low license fee for TWD), the cabler’s Marc Kasowitz led legal team scorched Darabont with emails from him that depicted an out of control production tyrant spewing invective and threats.
That didn’t go over well with Darabont’s old friend Sutter, no stranger to scathingly saying what he thinks:
— kurt sutter (@sutterink) July 14, 2017
Of course, AMC argues in support of its motion for summary judgment that unveiling Darabont screeching “f**k you all for giving me chest pains because of the staggering f**king incompetence” in an email is contextually relevant because it displays how he treated colleagues. They also argued, and had deposition testimony to the same effect, that such behavior made clear how unsuited Darabont was to the role of showrunner once the horror drama based on Robert Kirkman’s comics was up and running in late 2010. The cabler is arguing, in the over three-year old lawsuit that is expected to go to trial in 2018, that is was precisely because of such communication and the behavior behind it that they felt they had to can Darabont in the summer of 2011 as Season 2 of TWD was underway.
With that in mind, any one who has followed the former The Shield producer and director on social media over the years can’t claim to be shocked by today’s tweet.
Sutter took to Twitter in July 2011 to slam AMC and Mad Men for the firing of Darabont – a move the SOA boss soon regretted and temporarily quit the social media platform partially in response. Just over a year later, when Darabont’s replacement and ex-Shield EP Glen Mazzara was suddenly fired from TWD in late 2012, Sutter blasted AMC execs as “small-minded, bottom-line thinkers who have no appreciation or gratitude for the effort of its creative personnel.” He also warned that the future for TWD would be “dim” with Mazzara, which was obviously not the case ratingswise, and labeled AMC boss Charlie Collier and others as “c**ts.”
Neither Mayans MC chief Sutter nor AMC responded to request for comment on the former’s tweet tonight.
Ironically, as AMC were revealing that Darabont used some pretty harsh words when he has running TWD, the cabler’s lawyer Kasowitz, who is also Donald Trump’s primary personal attorney, got his tongue in a vise today for his own bad language. “I’m on you now,” the rarely reticent NYC-based Kasowitz wrote to a man who advocated that he resign as Trump’s point man for the ever expanding Russia probe. “You are f88king with me now,” the lawyer adds in one of the four emails he sent his critic. “Let’s see who you are Watch your back , b***h.” Kasowitz later Thursday called the terminology and the threatening exchange “inappropriate.”
First filed by Darabont and CAA in December 2013, the lawsuit against AMC has an important summery judgment hearing coming up on August 24 that could determine the direction the case takes – which is what all the documents made public last night was some what all about, including the jockeying for position and posturing.
That positioning found both sides have their own spin on Darabont’s less than gentle language.
In another email that AMC cherry picked to put in their documents this morning, Darabont wrote an email that said “everybody, especially our directors, better wake the f**k up and pay attention. Or I will start killing people and throwing bodies out the door.” Lawyers for former EP and the uber-agency didn’t try to side step the vitriolic verbiage but instead attempted to make it more than words on a screen by claiming that such language is common in the industry and had a very real context in Darbont’s TWD.
“Darabont is referring to the same footage that Darabont’s replacement showrunner, Glen Mazzara, called the worst footage he had ever seen in his career,” the producer’s lawyers from Hollywood heavyweights Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP and NYC’s Blank Rome LLP put forth.
Which makes Sutter’s point of there being no winners in the use of this material all the more on point.