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The premiere of Mayans M.C. marked the arrival of a series that already had a fanbase ready and waiting to tune in. The Sons of Anarchy spinoff was going to take viewers back to the world that had developed over the years of the original series while also taking them to a new location and featuring almost entirely new characters. Mayans was in the works for years, and now that we're in an age of social media and spoilers, secrets seemed bound to get out. Michael Irby, who stars as Bishop on Mayans M.C., recently spoke with CinemaBlend about the series. In addition to sharing how reshoots impacted the Sons of Anarchy spinoff, he had this to say when I asked if the show had taken steps to prevent spoilers:
Oh yes! We had a social media blackout! It wasn't really me because I'm kind of new to the whole social media game, but there was a few of us were posting a little bit more than I think that FX or Kurt [Sutter] was comfortable with. So all of the sudden, you get a big note in your trailer saying 'We need to see you guys over here. There's going to be a meeting today.' You know, it's great, even as a 45-year-old man, to get scolded, and say 'You guys are not allowed to post anymore.' And again, they were really trying to protect these characters, they were trying to protect the story. So I totally respect that, and I've learned now how to post a little bit more creatively, where you're not giving anything away. You're just enticing and laying down the groundwork for the future. But yeah, that was the biggest thing I was surprised of was the social media blackout. I'd never been involved in anything like that before, so I actually thought it was kind of cool.
As it turns out, some members of the Mayans M.C. team were a bit more open on social media than FX and co-creator Kurt Sutter were hoping for. It's so easy to share on platforms like Twitter and Instagram nowadays that it's also easy to overshare, and even the tiniest details could give away significant parts of a series like Mayans M.C. For a show set in a universe already established and filled in by a whole other series, Mayans managed to keep a lot of details quiet, which made footage from trailers all the more exciting and built anticipation for the September 4 premiere.
Of course, a social media blackout isn't the most drastic measure a project has taken to keep a lid on spoilers. The casts of Game of Thrones and just about every Marvel and Star Wars installment would probably love to only have to deal with a social media blackout. That said, Mayans M.C. doesn't have a member of the cast notorious for dropping spoilers like Tom Holland and Mark Ruffalo.
Michael Irby's comments about the social media blackout indicate that FX was more concerned with protecting the story than keeping every single aspect of production a secret. Would the Mayans premiere have felt as intense and engaging if we'd already known about every character, action sequence, and location?
As surprising as the social media blackout was to Michael Irby, he went on in our chat to explain how effective he believes it was:
And then to see FX get behind it and start their plan, as it were. Yeah, I think they hit it out of the park. I think FX hit it out of the park. You're driving around L.A. right now, you can't turn a corner without seeing a Mayans sign. It's just awesome.
The first season of Mayans M.C. has a ways to go, so the cast isn't in the clear to give away all the set secrets just yet. Still, a lot more of the series could have been spoiled even before the premiere if not for the social media blackout in the lead-up to the advertising push. The buzz for Mayans M.C. couldn't be higher nowadays, and that might not have been the case if viewers knew a whole lot of details ahead of time.