Top television producer Kurt Sutter has been fired by FX as executive producer of “Mayans M.C.” following “multiple complaints” of abrasive behavior at the network, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The writer/producer/director, who has worked with FX (newly acquired by Disney in the 21st Century Fox-Disney merger) for 18 years, was dismissed after the network execs received “multiple complaints” about his behavior on the set of the biker drama series.
In a letter Sutter, 59, wrote to his cast and crew that was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, he says he was let go for being an “abrasive d**k” to people and for the “unacceptable conditions that have been created on the set of ‘Mayans’ in Season 2.”
“Apparently, Disney HR and Business Affairs has conducted an investigation into the unacceptable conditions that have been created on the set of Mayans in season 2. As you know, I’ve removed myself quite a bit this season, allowing others to take a bigger role in producing the show. It appears that philosophy has backfired. It’s been reported by writers, producers, cast and crew that my absence and subsequent behavior when there, has only created confusion, chaos, hostility and is perceived as abandonment. Or at least that’s how Disney has interpreted it. I’m sure it’s true.”, he wrote.
Sutter specifies that FX CEO John Landgraf and Disney TV Studios and ABC Entertainment chairman Dana Walden were the two to fire him on Thursday morning.
“I deeply apologize if I’ve made people feel less than or unsupported. My intention was literally the opposite. But clearly I’ve not been paying attention. My arrogance and chronic distraction has created wreckage. Just know, I adore this cast and crew.”
“For those of you who wanted me gone, you win! For those of you who didn’t, you win, too. Although I will no longer be involved, I have no doubt the new team will move things forward with the same quality fans have come to expect.
“Thank you for the honor of working with all of you.
“I don’t need, nor want, replies or condolences. I know where the love is. And for those of you who have it, I’m sure our paths will cross again,” Sutter concluded.
He indicated “Mayans” co-showrunner Elgin James will be taking over.
The show’s second season on FX debuted in September. ‘Mayans’ is a spinoff from Sutter’s popular FX series “Sons of Anarchy.”
According to THR, Sutter’s firing will apparently not affect his overall production deal with 20th Century Fox TV at this time.
Sutter then released a second letter obtained by Deadline in which he writes how he “felt the creative scrutiny of Disney from day one… Notes on scripts and cuts have been heavy handed. Demanding a level of dumbing-down story and inane PC restraints like I’ve never experienced before.”
He expressed how he believed “the suits” wanted him to go. “I stepped on toes and bruised egos. And in this Disney regime, I’m dangerous to the wholesome brand,” he said. “They embarrassed me. They created a false narrative that could damage my reputation and career. I want them to understand the depth of that mistake.”
“Disney letting me go today was apparently based on data collected by HR and Business Affairs from writers, producers, cast and crew. They claim the intel suggests that I created a climate of hostility, favoritism and enabled a set where no one felt safe or appreciated. I know that’s not true.”
Reps for the show and Kurt Sutter did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.
The 59-year-old New Jersey native first rose to fame as a writer, producer and director on FX’s first hit drama series, “The Shield.” In addition to his behind-the-scenes work, he also appeared in front of the camera as the notorious hitman, Margos Dezerian.
In 2007 he became the executive producer of “The Shield” leading the police series to record ratings He remained as the showrunner until it ended its run in 2008 and then went on to create “Sons of Anarchy.” Again besides writing, directing and producing on the motorcycle gang drama, he also acted in the series played incarcerated gang member Otto Delaney.
Before creating “Mayans” last year, he also brought to FX a drama about 14th-century knights, “The Bastard Executioner.” It did not fare as well and was canceled after one season.
When “Mayans” premiered last year it equaled the success of its predecessor. “Mayans” pulled in 2.53 million viewers among adults 18-49 in its debut last September — almost identical to the premiere numbers for “Sons” in September of 2008. But since then viewership has leveled off and in its second season “Mayans M.C.” is drawing 1.10 million viewers of the 18 to 49-year-old demographic, which is down 30 percent in viewership when compared to season one.