Kurt Sutter Defends ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Episode, Sen. John McCain Takes His Side

Kurt Sutter Defends 'Sons of Anarchy' Episode, Sen. John McCain Takes His Side

Sutter defends episode featuring school shooting

“Sons of Anarchy” creator Kurt Sutter defended the portrayal of a school shooting on his show after the often-outraged Parents Television Council denounced it.

The group said episodes like the “Sons” premiere were one reason to support Sen. John McCain's bill to let customers buy their cable channels a la carte, skipping the ones they object to. But in an interview with TheWrap, McCain disagreed.

Also read: John McCain Makes the Case for A La Carte Cable

“I would imagine these are not evil people,” Sutter said on his WTFSutter YouTube platform. “But they are… just not very intuitive or intelligent individuals. Meaning that it's such a small and simple view of process. The fact that people want to be monitoring what my children watch is terrifying. There is no awareness of what it is, the bigger objective of that episode was, the bigger point of the narrative. And to me that's a really simplistic, dangerous view of anything, never mind the creative process.”

He said their views were “rigid, perhaps influenced by certain religious groups and people with other agendas.”

McCain, meanwhile, said that while there are many reasons to support his bill, avoiding potentially offensive content isn't one of them.

Also read: PTC Says ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Shooting Makes Case for A La Carte Cable

“I don't agree with that aspect of it,” McCain said. “I think people make choices. Nobody forces them to watch those shows… As long as it's not child pornography, those things that are just beyond the pale — I can't blame a television show for causing violence. I just can't. Some people make that connection but I haven't been able to do that yet.”

In a statement Thursday, the PTC said the episode was “an outrage.”

“What FX chose to show – a scene of a young boy murdering innocent children in a school with a semi-automatic gun – is enough of a reason for consumers to have the choice not to underwrite such horrifically violent and disturbing material,” PTC president Tim Winter said in a statement.

Sutter worried in his rebuttal that such criticisms could lead to censorship.

“Whenever that stuff crosses the line into censorship, it's just scary, on a — not just a creative level but on a personal level,” he said. “There are some people obviously that have a deep amount of sensitivity toward the idea of a school shooting and how painful that is, and what I'm about to say will probably sound somewhat callous and I don't mean it to. I'm trying to be thoughtful about this.

“I'm a storyteller. That's what I do. I am not a social guru, I am not a guy with an agenda politically, socially, morally, financially. I'm a f—ing storyteller. … My job is to engage, entertain and perhaps make you think. And that's what I do on a daily basis. And I'm blessed that it's something I have a God-given gift to do so, and that I can share with you and perhaps entertain you and bring you along for the ride. That's what I do. So when anybody tries to take that away from me, or impede that… I get defensive. I take that to heart.”

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  • DiamondSuave

    Go ahead Kurt!

  • Teri Price

    I love all the SOA episodes. The school episode needs to be watched. Make people think about how not loving their kids and paying attention to them can affect everyone around your kid. It made me think about giving my kids more attention. It was also a wake up call for people selling guns illegally. They get into bad hands. I would say that maybe it would be awake up call for selfish mothers that try to cover up their hurt with drugs instead of getting over and loving their kid. Way to go Kurt!

  • hupto

    There's only one way to get rid of the PTC: Every time they issue a press release, throw it in the trash. Their bleatings will mean nothing if no one hears them.

  • PMarie

    As a long time fan of Kurt Sutters and someone who's been watching SOA since the beginning..for the 1st time ever, I didn't really like the season opener eps. I thought the whole thing was done for shock value vs. story and usually no one tell a story like the writers on this show.. But the whole thing, Tig peeing on the porn guy, Jax cheating, kid school shooting.. you don't need to shock me to get me to like a show, just go back to telling me a good story..

    • Missy

      Everyone of those things is part of the story! The shooting is going to ruin the club, Jax's cheating is nothing new, not shocking at all. Tig is gone crazy over the loss of his daughter. All those things are setting up story lines to bring the show to an end.

  • J.J.

    I found yet another error by a liberal retard in this:

    “What FX chose to show – a scene of a young boy murdering innocent
    children in a school with a semi-automatic gun – is enough of a reason
    for consumers to have the choice not to underwrite such horrifically
    violent and disturbing material,” PTC president Tim Winter said in a

    The weapon of choice here was an illegal fully automatic weapon, not a semi-auto one. Using the words ‘semi-automatic’ to describe a true assault weapon blurs the lines between illegal and legal guns and rifles.
    As a parent I choose what my daughter can't watch on T.V. and I don't need a bunch of self righteous pricks to babysit for me. I won't let her watch S.O.A. but I do enjoy the show myself.

    • MadRaven72

      @J.J. : PTC is not a liberal group by ANY stretch of the imagination…

      , their founder L. Brent Bozell III is and comes from a family of ultra-conservatives who made me look like a flaming lib even when i still considered myself to be a solid Republican. So if you're quoting their spokesman and blaming the error on “a liberal r*t***,” then i can't help but want to laugh because they (the PTC) spend 99 percent of their time crying and bleating about the indecency and liberal bias of anything and everything

  • l.berty

    it's SOA who in their right mind lets their kids watch it?
    and for the sensetive adults who may have been offended,why are they watching it. it's been violent since day 1. I guess they wantthe Hello Kitty biker version of things.
    yet,gay/lesbian crap is showed on teen channels in prime time every night.
    makes Liberal sense=to suit their agenda.

  • terry208

    You understand that the PTC is just one guy,Tim Winter who began this nonsense over 20 years ago by attacking and protesting the Howard Stern radio show, now Stern is bigger than ever.

    • MadRaven72

      Winter is just the mouthpiece for L. Brent Bozell III… and that particular family has had a bug in their shorts about one thing or another for more like the last FIFTY years. But yeah, the “millions” of complaints that the PTC dumps on the FCC about stuff on broadcast TV is just the astroturfed butt-hurt of America's equivalent of a small cluster of wanna-be Ayatollahs and their knee-jerking, pearl-clutching mini-militia of crabby housewives.