After years of building a reputation as one of the most hard-nosed showrunners in television, Sons of Anarchy mastermind Kurt Sutter has apparently been fired from FX by network head John Landgraf, with the sudden ousting cutting Sutter out of his co-creation Mayans M.C. earlier than expected. While details have yet to be unveiled, it's reported that "multiple complaints" are what led to Sutter's firing.
It's reported that the decision to fire Kurt Sutter came down the Disney and FX pipeline on Wednesday, and that the Sons of Anarchy creator sent out a letter to the cast and crew of Mayans M.C. that explained the situation on Thursday morning. Disney TV Studios and ABC Entertainment Chairman Dana Walden was also behind the dismissal alongside John Landgraf.
It sounds like Kurt Sutter's letter had all of his signature flair attached to it, as THR reports that he referred to himself as an "abrasive dick" within the letter.
Even though Kurt Sutter has been fired from the FX network, which has been his home going back to his days on the iconic crime drama The Shield, it doesn't appear that it will affect his overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV. It's obviously not a great thing for fans to see Sutter and FX to split like this, but there's precedent for complaints being made about Sutter's unprofessional and uncouth behavior in the past. (He got into some trouble during the Sons of Anarchy days with Fox 21 execs.)
It was only a couple of months ago when Kurt Sutter announced he would be stepping down as the co-showrunner for Mayans M.C., which is now in the back half of its second season on FX. This technically shouldn't hurt the show at all, since Elgin James is still set to handle things by his lonesome, but others' reactions could offer a different tale once the waves start to settle.
Kurt Sutter brought a lot of name recognition to the network, and his work on Sons of Anarchy meant that his attachment to Mayans M.C. truly felt like it would be an extension of the universe made so popular on the original series. Of course, with Mayans deep into its second season, the departure of Kurt Sutter isn't likely to hurt the show all that much, if at all.
Mayans has established itself as separate from Sons of Anarchy, despite connections between the two that continue to be made. The spinoff stands alone, and it can presumably stand without Kurt Sutter on board. Still, a lot of eyes may be on Mayans moving forward to see if Sutter's absence is felt. A big question is what kind of projects Sutter will be able to tackle next. If his overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV is intact, then he's not going to be out of a job, but his name attached to a project may not help it for now.
You can return to the Sons of Anarchy universe created by Kurt Sutter when new episodes of Mayans M.C. (potentially with more connections to Sons) air Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.