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What’s the old saying about opinions being like a-holes? Everyone’s got one, right? The same can almost be said for Twitter accounts these days and if ever there’s a guy who knows how to “manipulate 140 characters,” it’s Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter. This isn’t the first time he’s dropped some honesty onto his Twitter feed, and I doubt it’ll be the last. Last night, he targeted AMC for their budget issues and took some shots at Mad Men in the process…
I’ll say it right now; I don’t always agree with Kurt Sutter’s opinions, or even his attitude about certain things, but I'm not going to come down on the guy for opening his mouth about things that bother him. I actually find it refreshing that he speaks his mind publicly and seemingly without agenda. You know what you’re getting with him, which is why I consider him a must-follow tweeter. As someone who weighs in with opinions on other people’s work on a regular basis, it would be hypocritical for me to judge this guy for doing the exact same thing (even if he’s coming down on bloggers and TV critics, which I’m pretty sure he’s done before). As far as celebretweets go, Sutter's blunt opinions are much more interesting to me than the occasional flood of "It's my birthday! Please RT!!!1" retweets, anyway.
Sutter’s most recent activity involves him weighing in on AMC’s budget issues, which has affected Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, three excellent shows all of which have had or are having financial issues as AMC attempts to get their ducks in a row, get the talent paid and get these shows back on the air. Breaking Bad was delayed, but is finally airing new episodes. Meanwhile, The Walking Dead will still hopefully return this fall and Mad Men is scheduled to return to AMC next year after having been delayed due to creator Matt Weiner's negotiations with the network.
Sutter’s comments were specifically in response to The Walking Dead’s Frank Darabont being fired.
First, Sutter tweeted:
why darabont got fired - weiner. he held AMC hostage, broke their bank, budgets were slashed, shit rolled down hill onto gilligan and frank.
After which he tweeted:
no one else wants to fucking say it, but the greed of mad men is killing the other two best shows on tv -- breaking bad and walking dead.
In response to the flurry of replies he received, he went on to say that AMC would be like KFC without Mad Men, and that the series defines the network. He continued to tweet, speaking more specifically about how Frank Darabont was treated by the network:
darabont reacted strongly to slashed budgets. he made mistakes, he was fired. no creative in town will trust AMC to back up their artists. (@SutterInk)
…Then went on to clarify that he doesn’t have any issues with Weiner, saying:
i don't know MW, got no beef with him. just hate that darabont is being demonized. no one has the balls to tell the truth. MM gutted AMC.
this is not me vs. matt. the issue is that amc should not have compromised their other shows to appease his $$ demands. it was bad business.
“It was bad business,” is a fair comment, assuming AMC really is chipping away at The Walking Dead’s budget in order to increase the budget on Mad Men (or Matt Weiner’s salary), and that this is the reason Darabont was let go. Considering TWD’s first season finale brought in twice as many viewers as Mad Men averages per episode, you would think the network would prioritize the zombie series above a show that, while good, isn’t likely to ever drastically increase its viewership.
What business is it of Kurt Sutter’s to comment on the goings on of another network, their series and the series’ creators? It isn’t really, but when has Twitter or the internet ever prohibited people from speaking their mind? He's a show runner on a cable channel as well, which certainly gives his perspective on the subject some weight. I'd be interested to hear more of his thoughts on Weiner holding AMC hostage, as he put it. I'm genuinely curious to know if Sutter has or would take into account the budgets of other FX shows when negotiating his own salary with FX.