BREAKING: This is unfolding in real time. Kurt Sutter has abruptly exited his involvement in the Sons of Anarchy spinoff Mayans M.C. and, for that matter, his long tenure at FX. An email by Sutter was sent to the cast and crew that he has been fired from the show, which he co-created and executive produced.
Looks like he continues with his overall deal at 20th Century FoxTV, now part of Disney TV Studios, where he has been for the past 18 years, first working on FX’s The Shield before creating Sons of Anarchy, The Bastard Executioner and then Mayans M.C. — all at FX, which now also is part of Disney. This sounds like an acrimonious move, and we will tell you more when we know it.
Evidently, there was some combustible activity — Sutter is not known to mince words — after the planned handover of Mayans M.C. creative control by Sutter to Elgin James. Although we don’t believe Sutter had issues with James, with whom he co-created the show about a Latino biker club, the dust-up was with others inserted into the equation to steer the show into Season 3. That prompted his firing.
Sutter attributed his sacking to Dana Walden, Chairman of Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment, and John Landgraf, Chairman of FX Networks and FX Productions, who long had been his champions. It reportedly came following an investigation into complaints collected by Disney’s HR and Business Affairs from writers, producers, cast and crew alleging hostile work environment on the show.
Sutter has made it clear for a long time the he was handing the reins to James. He told fans at the Season 2 premiere of Mayans M.C. at the Arclight Hollywood Cinerama Dome he would take a step back to further allow James and the creative team they built to assert themselves, and he didn’t want a white guy at the helm of a drama about life in a Latino motorcycle club. At the time, Sutter said he wasn’t exiting the Sons of Anarchy spinoff show, which was the implication. That isn’t the case anymore.
Here’s what Sutter said at the time:
“I stood up here last year and shared my intentions about what I wanted for Mayans MC. That it was my job to honor the narrative legacy of SOA and guide the transition into the new mythology of the Mayans.
And with the help of an amazing cast and crew, I feel like I’ve been able to do that…By the end of this season, narrative arcs that we set up in Charming will find their conclusion in Santo Padre. And EZ Reyes will find himself inside a new, unexpected truth. His feet firmly planted. Albeit, standing in a huge puddle of fucking blood.
So as promised, it’s time for the white guy to leave the building. If we are lucky enough to have a season 3, I will be stepping back as day to day showrunner and handing the reins to my talented and passionate partner, Elgin James.
I’ll still be involved in a producorial capacity, but I’m really clear that for this show to establish its own unique mythology, one that I believe can be more potent and relevant than Sons, it has to be guided by a fresh voice. A voice of color, a voice that is still haunted by the struggle. And that voice belongs to Elgin James.”