Sutter, who created Sons of Anarchy, notified Mayans M.C. cast and crew of his firing via email after many complaints were made about his behaviour on set, according to Variety.
“It’s been reported by writers, producers, cast and crew that my absence and subsequent behaviour when there, has only created confusion, chaos, hostility and is perceived as abandonment,” he wrote in an email.
“Or at least that’s how Disney has interpreted it. I’m sure it’s true.”
According to Sutter’s letter, which was obtained and published by The Hollywood Reporter, FX CEO John Landgraf and Disney TV Studios and ABC Entertainment chairman Dana Walden fired him for “all the complaints levied against me.”
“Not the way I wanted to end my 18 year relationship with FX. At least being fired for being an abrasive dick is on brand,” Sutter added.
Sutter’s letter, addressed to Team Mayans, said: “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.”
“I deeply apologize if I’ve made people feel less than or unsupported,” Sutter wrote, adding that his intention “was literally the opposite.”
Sutter said that he was unsure about the fate of Mayans M.C. but assured the crew that if the FX series continues it’s in good hands.
“As I said at the premier, Elgin is ready to take on the challenge of running the show. I’m sure FX will get him the support he needs to find and follow his vision,” the Sons of Anarchy actor wrote.
“For those of you who wanted me gone, you win!” Sutter said.
Sutter added that he doesn’t “need, nor want, replies or condolences.
On Thursday night, Sutter posted a photo of Disneyland on Instagram and captioned it: “The happiest place on earth…”
A few hours after he was fired, Sutter took to Twitter to post a job posting from Walt Disney World for “Vocalists for Festival of the Lion King.”
“Thanks for all the love and support. I’ve been vocalizing all day. So ready to nail this audition and start my next gig. Hakuna matata, motherf—ers,” Sutter tweeted.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sutter’s firing does not affect his overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV.
Sutter detailed the events that led to his termination in a letter obtained by Deadline on Oct. 17.
“Disney letting me go today was apparently based on data collected by HR and Business Affairs from writers, producers, cast and crew,” Sutter wrote in his letter. “They claim the intel suggests that I created a climate of hostility, favouritism and enabled a set where no one felt safe or appreciated.”
He continued: “I know that’s not true. I’m not saying it was all sunshine and roses, but I’m close with most of those guys and they love going to work. I’m also not sure how, having been on set… maybe three times all season, I was able to singularly create that much damage.”
“I’ve felt the creative scrutiny of Disney from day one,” he wrote, according to Deadline. “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. I genuinely feared for the creative future of the storytelling. So I pushed back. Hard.”
He also addressed being fired by Landgraf and Walden who supported him for 18 years through many of his projects.
“What pisses me off, what hurts the most, is that John Landgraf and Dana Walden sat across from me and sited a summary of a slanted truth formulated by lawyers and clerks,” he wrote.
“The truth is, the suits wanted me gone. I stepped on toes and bruised egos. And in this Disney regime, I’m dangerous to the wholesome brand. And clearly not worth the trouble. So 18 years of friendship, loyalty and producing quality television, was flushed down the drain. They threw me under the f—ing bus.”
Mayans M.C. is set in the fictional border city of Santo Padre, California, and follows Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes, played by J.D. Pardo, a fresh-out-of-prison “prospect” for a chapter of the Mayans, a Mexican-American motorcycle club. (A prospect is a potential member who must prove himself to the others). Reyes is coming to terms with his former life as a one-time promising student at Stanford University who is now inside the world of crime and Mexican cartels.
The Mayans were the sometimes rivals, sometimes allies of the Sons of Anarchy in the original series.
Meanwhile, Ezekiel’s butcher father, played by Edward James Olmos, serves as his adviser and sometimes confidante as the young Reyes seeks just to survive. Together the pair leads a majority-Latino cast who navigate the dark world of motorcycle gangs and tensions from immigration, cartel violence and race.
FX and 20th Century Fox TV have not publicly commented on Sutter’s firing as of this writing.
— With files from the Associated Press