Kurt Sutter, the executive producer best known for having created Sons of Anarchy and then its spinoff, Mayans M.C., has been fired by FX.
The writer himself confirmed the news in a letter he sent to the cast and crew of the latter drama on Thursday afternoon.
According to The Hollywood Reporter insiders, Sutter was let go due to "multiple complaints" over his behavior on the series, which chronicles a biker gang viewers first met on Sons of Anarchy.
As mentioned above, Sutter detailed his dismissal by FX CEO John Landgraf and Disney TV Studios and ABC Entertainment chairman Dana Walden in a message sent to those who had been working with him on The Mayans for the past two years.
In this message, he described himself as an "abrasive dick."
Representatives for FX and 20th Century Fox TV have not yet commented on the development, while representatives for Sutter did not respond to the aforementioned outlet's multiple requests for a remark.
Filming and production on the second season of Mayans M.C. has already been completed.
Last month, Sutter told fans at the Season 2 premiere that he was planning to down from his executive producer role should this Sons of Anarchy follow-up earn a third season from FX.
“It’s time for the white man to leave the building,” he told the audience at the Hollywood screening.
Sutter went on to say at the time that a person of color should run the writers’ room because it’s a drama about a Mexican biker gang on the California-Mexico border.
Always an outspoken showrunner, Sutter appeared as the character of Otto in multiple episodes of Sons of Anarchy.
He was also one of the main writers on legendary FX drama The Shield.
"This morning I was fired by Dana Walden and John Landgraf for all the complaints levied against me," wrote Sutter in his letter to the cast and crew, adding:
"Not the way I wanted to end my 18 year relationship with FX. At least being fired for being an abrasive dick is on brand...
"I deeply apologize if I’ve made people feel less than or unsupported. My intention was literally the opposite. But clearly I’ve not been paying attention.
"My arrogance and chronic distraction has created wreckage. Just know, I adore this cast and crew."
Elsewhere, however, Sutter was far more pointed in his criticism of the decision.
Here is his lengthy letter in full:
Let me begin by saying, I know who I am. I know the impact of my process. I'm intense and passionate. I take what I do very seriously. That's what having a vision manifests. And if you fuck with that vision, I’m gonna push back.
When I'm right, I let the work speak for itself. When I’m wrong, I own it, make amends and fix it.
I pride myself on having a supportive and empowering set. I try to acknowledge all the hard work everyone does. I'm clear that it's a collaborative effort. And I try to pass that philosophy down to my writers and producers so they do the same.
Disney letting me go today was apparently based on data collected by HR and Business Affairs from writers, producers, cast and crew.
They claim the intel suggests that I created a climate of hostility, favoritism and enabled a set where no one felt safe or appreciated.
I know that’s not true. I’m not saying it was all sunshine and roses, but I’m close with most of those guys and they love going to work. I’m also not sure how, having been on set… maybe three times all season, I was able to singularly create that much damage
Never did I think the ship was off course until after mid season when I suddenly was bombarded with unfavorable reports about the tension on set. I am not going to mention names, because I don't want to point fingers. So yes, there were complaints.
And ultimately whomever they are about lands on me to fix. That’s when I contacted the network to let them know. They told me they’d look into it. And to sit tight. So I did.
Who I have been hard on this season is the studio and network. I’ve felt the creative scrutiny of Disney from day one. Notes on scripts and cuts have been heavy handed.
Demanding a level of dumbing-down story and inane PC restraints like I’ve never experienced before. I genuinely feared for the creative future of the storytelling. So I pushed back.Hard.
No different than I have in the past. In fact, much tamer than I ever was on SOA. However, I was dealing with personnel who didn’t know me. And my level of… passion. Clearly I ruffled a few mouse ears.
I know my role at Mayans MC was going to be greatly reduced. I am handing off the show to Elgin. So it's not the job that's the issue.
What pisses me off, what hurts the most, is that John Landgraf and Dana Walden sat across from me and sited a summary of a slanted truth formulated by lawyers and clerks.
They blamed my dismissal on the cast and crew.
People I care about. People I respect. They had no first hand knowledge of anything they were saying. They’ve never been on set or spoken to any of my people. I’m not saying all of the intel was bullshit.
But I know that’s not why I was fired. 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.
I send this diatribe because I feel deeply wronged. They embarrassed me. They created a false narrative that could damage my reputation and career. I want them to understand the depth of that mistake.
Talk soon. Thanks. ks. sutterink, the letter concluded."