Just over a week after he was fired by FX, purportedly over complaints about his behavior from the show’s cast and crew, “Mayans M.C.” co-creator Kurt Sutter says he went “rogue,” and explained what he believes to be the real reason why he was fired.
In an interview with Deadline published on Tuesday, the writer said that long-simmering tensions with his new corporate bosses at Disney came to a head after he inserted a joke about the company into one of the scripts as a “f— you” to Disney executives:
Here’s what I did wrong on the studio network side, the reason why I had to go away. It all started with a joke. And not a very good one. There was a line in the Season 2 premiere. EZ [JD Pardo] and Coco [Richard Cabral] were getting off the bus at the school where the drugs were being processed. There was supposed to be a really gnarly playground out front. Filled with debris, dangerous looking swings, sharp objects, rusty jungle gym, etc. As they exited, Coco sees EZ’s distracted and says: Lighten up Boy Scout, and gesturing to the playground, says, We’re going to Disneyland. EZ replies: Yeah? Guess this is where Walt buried all the Jews he had killed. Coco comments: That’s dark man… And exits.
After he received pushback on the script, Sutter changed the line to a joke about Mickey Mouse and Pluto being pedophiles. The line, he said, was a way of “drawing a line in the sand” in response to growing levels of corporate interference on the show since it came under the Disney umbrella.
“The Walt joke was like, okay, you want something to complain about? Here you go. I knew that would at least force a few people to call their supervisors,” Sutter said, going on to explain that he saw the joke as a “grenade” that would “wake people up and have them take a step back.”
Also, Sutter said that he went “rogue” because he was “turning in scripts too late to allow notes to be addressed.”
Sutter, who co-created “Mayans M.C.” with Elgin James, first announced his departure in a memo to staff earlier this month. It was reported at the time that the reason for his termination was complaints about his behavior from the show’s cast and crew, but Sutter denied that account in a follow-up email to his friends and collaborators.
“I want to be clear about this,” Sutter told Deadline. “I was dismissed for being an abrasive dick. But there was no improper behavior and no one picked up the phone and complained about me.”
Sutter has been at FX since starting as a staff writer on “The Shield” in 2002. He went on to create “Sons of Anarchy” and “The Bastard Executioner” for the network, before co-creating “Mayans M.C.” with James in 2018. He had already announced plans to step down at the end of the current season, handing over full day-to-day control to James for Season 3.
Sutter currently remains under an overall deal with the Disney-owned studio 20th Century Fox Television, but the showrunner said Tuesday that in “an ideal situation, they would honor that, and cut me loose.”
Read the full interview at Deadline.