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.
Sutter, best known as the creator of the hit show “Sons of Anarchy,” was formally dismissed from his work “Mayans M.C,” a "Sons" spinoff he also created. The decision was made by FX Chairman John Landgraf and Disney TV Studios and ABC Entertainment chairman Dana Walden.
In a letter obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Sutter wrote to his cast and crew:
"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."
The Reporter's digital rival, Deadline obtained a separate letter that it says was sent to Sutter's "inside circle" that seemingly contradicted the Reporter's correspondence,
"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."
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.
FX was acquired by Disney this year when Fox sold its studio assets to the cross-town rival. In the Reporter note, Sutter wrote that he "felt the creative scrutiny of Disney from day one.” adding that 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."
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.