Landgraf noted that Sutter would retain his exec producer credit on the show but said that he would “prefer to keep things in-house”.
“We’ve worked with him for a long time,” said Landgraf, Chairman of FX Networks and FX Productions, speaking at the Winter TCA press tour. “We fulfilled our contract, he fulfilled his contract, we moved on. Elgin James is the showrunner. [Kurt Sutter] will remain exec producer as long as that show exists.”
Mayans M.C. was renewed for a third season in November with the network confirming that co-creator and executive producer Elgin James will serve as showrunner.
This comes after Sutter was fired in October from his post on the gang drama, based on complaints from cast and crew collected by the human resources department of Disney, which now owns FX as well as the studio that produces the Sons of Anarchy spinoff, 20th Century Fox TV/Fox 21 TV Studios.
His departure 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 addressed being fired by his longtime collaborator Landgraf and Disney TV Studios Chairman Dana Walden, who had supported him for the past 18 years from The Shield through Sons of Anarchy and its Mayans M.C. spinoff and The Bastard Executioner at the time.
“What pisses me off, what hurts the most, is that John Landgraf and Dana Walden sat across from me and cited a summary of a slanted truth formulated by lawyers and clerks,” he wrote in a letter to his inner circle. “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 fucking bus.”
Speaking to Deadline after the event, Sutter added that Landgraf was a “really smart executive” and a “rare gem in this town”. “John loves to work with artists, loves to work with writers, loves making great TV. He really is a smart fucking cat, and nobody analyzes data like John does. I always gave him shit for that; we’d get into conversations and he would start spewing statistics and analysis, and I’d be like, John, you’re here to give me script notes.”
“Because of that and because he’s not the most demonstrative cat, he’s calm and his demeanor is approachable, he has climbed that corporate ladder and become even more valuable even when it was just in the Fox world. In the transition with Disney, I think there’s a part of him that wants to protect what he established and he wants to assert himself. Now, it’s not that I think they’ve crushed the humanity in him, but he’s being so distracted with growing the brand and growing his end of what will ultimately become the downloadable content, that he just hasn’t had the time to do what he loves to do.”