Kurt Sutter’s dismissal from Mayans MC came as a huge shock to Sons of Anarchy fans — and the circumstances surrounding his exit were even more disappointing. While Sutter released a letter shortly after the news broke that explained his thoughts, he recently revealed the real reason he was let go from the show. So why did Disney fire the man who made Sons of Anarchy and Mayans MC a huge success for FX?
Sutter dishes on why he was fired
In a new interview, Sutter opened up about his exit from the Sons of Anarchy spin-off and revealed that a joke was the real reason Disney fired him from Mayans MC.
It has now been a week since Sutter confirmed his exit from the Sons of Anarchy spin-off, and, looking back, Sutter admits that the joke was not his brightest idea. He also takes responsibility for the decision and realizes that he completely misjudged his relationship with the studio.
“Bottom line, I created the circumstances that led to my being forced out. I overestimated my value and underestimated the unf***ability of [Disney],” Kurt Sutter shared.
Shortly after he was let go from the series, Sutter released a letter he had sent to the cast and crew of the show. The letter did not reference the joke, but it did reveal that Sutter was having issues with Disney executives months before his departure.
Mayans MC was the first spin-off of Sutter’s Sons of Anarchy series, which debuted on FX back in 2008. The original series remains one of the network’s most successful shows to date and Sutter had plans for at least two more spin-offs.
What was the joke that got Kurt Sutter fired from ‘Mayans MC’?
Disney has yet to comment on Sutter’s recent interview, but the Sons of Anarchy creator was not shy about revealing which joke grossly offended the studio.
According to Indie Wire, the joke in question was included in the season 2 premiere of Mayans MC. As EZ (JD Pardo) and Coco (Richard Cabral) stopped by a school to check on a local drug operation, they crossed a playground that was severely dilapidated.
Confronted with rusty jungle gyms, broken swings, and sharp objects, Coco made a joke about how they are “going to Disneyland.” In the original script, EZ replied with a pretty harsh critique of Disney’s founder, Walt Disney.
“Yeah? Guess this is where Walt buried all the Jews he had killed,” EZ says.
Sutter knew that the line would get him in trouble, but he stuck to his guns anyway — at least until Disney asked him to change it. In fact, he kept the line in the script and was moving forward with it until he was asked to take it out.
Sutter and Disney butt heads.
Even before Disney made the request, Sutter knew that the studio would not like it. But he felt like including it anyway because he wanted to make a statement.
At the time, Kurt Sutter had been butting heads with Disney bosses for months and did not like how they were exerting more control over his show. Disney recently bought Fox and now owns everything under the FX umbrella, including Sons of Anarchy and Mayans MC.
The merger was accompanied by major changes on the set of Mayans MC, including the addition of new producers. Needless to say, Sutter did not appreciate the changes.
“When dealing with new restrictions often implemented by a change in personnel, it’s best to respond by lobbing a grenade,” Sutter explained.
To his credit, Kurt Sutter cut the most offensive part of the joke, though he admittedly plugged in another line that was equally offensive. He claims that the studio increased their pushback after the premiere, which ultimately led to his firing.
What about Kurt Sutter’s behavior on the set of ‘Mayans MC’?
In his original letter to the cast, Sutter revealed that he was let go because of complaints Disney received from the cast and crew of Mayans MC. Sutter explained how he was fired for being an “abrasive dick” and admitted that his managing style can rub people the wrong way.
Sutter, of course, has a reputation for speaking his mind and offending people. When he was working on Sons of Anarchy, for instance, Sutter often butted heads with people on the set and got into his share of shouting matches.
The Sons of Anarchy creator, however, claims that he toned things down for the spin-off, though that obviously wasn’t enough for Disney.
Kurt Sutter may be gone from the set, but new episodes of Mayans MC still air Tuesday nights on FX.