Saturday, August 20, 2011


Not quite sure what's going on with the hair.  I look like an Hasidic Skaterboy.  Enjoy.

Friday, August 19, 2011


I was at the shrink yesterday.  Like that should come as a surprise to anyone.  I've been going a lot lately.  What brings me to the couch?  It's not the stress of the show.  On the contrary, work is my escape.  I crave 16-hour days.  It's not the noise I create with my big opinions.  If I'm being completely honest, all that shit kinda fuels me.  It makes me feel vital.  Gets me sporting Lenny Bruce wood.  It's not my marriage.  That's the one thing I've done right in the past 8 years.  So what brings me to therapy?  My kid.  I'm sure this is every parent's dilemma, so I know it's nothing new, but my developing relationship with my daughter brings me face to face with my own, unresolved, fucked-up, juvenile pain.  

My frustration and challenges with Esme rarely have anything to do with Esme.  I am becoming very aware that children give us the opportunity to work shit out we couldn't when we were young.  I don't mean that I'm not attentive or present for her, I just mean that as I grow as a father and struggle giving her what she needs, I realize that it's often something I needed myself and never received.  And until I acknowledge that need in Kurt, I can't fill it in Esme.  In other words, I have to grow up to be a grown up

The truth is, I would never have taken the time or energy to go back to therapy if it wasn't for my kid.  I desperately do not want to fuck her up.  Katey's done a remarkable job raising her two kids and I want Esme to have that same chance.  I just want her to land on the right side of happy.  The pursuit to achieve that is turning out to be incredibly revelatory.

By example: I know I have a reputation for being aggressive and angry, and I've clearly earned that sway.  But the truth is, it's more a persona than it is the person.  I'm a pretty quiet dude and I really dislike confrontation.  The problem that I struggle with in pretty much all areas of my life is balance.  I have trouble finding the middle range in anything.  I often go from a one to a ten in a single thought.  So my behavior can be erratic and unpredictable.  Then I made this simple discovery when I was working on some patience issues around my daughter -- When I was a kid, I couldn't get anyone to listen to me.  I had a voice, it just wasn't connecting to any ears.  So I learned at an early age that if level one wasn't working, two through nine sure as hell weren't gonna work, so let's go right to fucking ten and stir shit up.  That was the only way I could get an audience.  That's not a skill set that I consciously established or one that I was even fully aware of until my kid forced me to look at it.  So now I have some context for behavior.  Clearly awareness alone isn't enough.  One must actually take contrary action to apply change.  And as usual for me, it's always one tweet forward, three tweets back.

I share all this here because this stuff is just as important as my gripes.  More importantly actually.  My rants are the results of circumstance hitting my character.  These personal entries are slow to percolate and speak to my journey.  Process is always much more interesting and revealing than results.  All my work, hard and soft, defines me as an artist and a man.  As I grow.  As I change.  As I fall down.  As I slide back.  As I burn.  As I resurrect.  As I shave the bunny.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


As we close in on the premier, I wanted to bring folks up to speed on the show.  The one I write.  Sons of Anarchy premiers of September 6th and the 90 minute episode kicks off what I think will be a very satisfying season for fans.  The feedback from folks who have already seen it has been very positive.  

I want to thank the SOA fans for making this job so satisfying.  Really, your enthusiasm and support is unparallelled.  Some days knowing how much you dig what we do is my greatest motivator.  It's the only thing I miss about Twitter, talking to you... or I guess talking at you.  

I know it's difficult for fans to wait nine months between seasons so I've tried to keep folks plugged in through social media and the iPhone and Android app.  The additional content scenes were a way to give fans an inside peek at the season as well as provide some backstory to the 14 month narrative time gap between seasons 3 and 4.  The third additional content scene, TARA AND PINEY, will hit the FX Facebook page first on 8/22, then the app on 8/24.  We promised marketing the exclusive first on this one, that's why it's hitting social media before the app.  The first two additional content scenes, PAYPHONE and SECOND SON are available now on the FX Facebook page.  

Above is the banner that will be flying over a beach near you.  I hope you join us.


After a few weeks of bad spin about my Frank Darabont comments and in the light of AMC making a deal for Breaking Bad, I figured I'd try to fill in some of the blanks that were not communicated in my 140 characters.  

Let me begin by saying that there is a bigger issue at hand regarding all this Twitter bullshit.  It's a separate blog, but in short, main stream media is going to kill Twitter by using it as a source of on-the-record documentation.  When you have douchebags like Brent Lang at The Warp taking my three tweets and building a story around them, you have news that ends up being ten percent fact, and ninety percent subjective conjecture about, "What I meant".  Lang should be fucking fired for what happened next -- When I tweeted my frustration about the fact that he was too lazy to pick up a phone and actually call me for context, he updated his column, infusing more nasty opinion and pulling older tweets to support his anger.  By his third or fourth "update" his news story was more of an angry tirade than any of my blogs or tweets.  All this in the name of journalism.  This is indicative of what's happening in cybernews.  There is such a need for instantaneous reporting, to be the first to get it up, that truth and fairness are falling lower and lower on the list of priorities.  Using Twitter as a news source is accelerating the demise of real journalism.  Lang is a cunt who should have his credentials pulled.  Or at the very least, someone should beat the shit out of him with an AP Stylebook.

Months ago when Matt Weiner made his deal at AMC, I commented about the need for showrunners to take some responsibility for the bigger picture.  Meaning, yes, a show is the creator's vision, but it also becomes something more.  In my case, SOA doesn't belong to me anymore.  It has a life of it's own.  It belongs to the fans, my cast, my crew, everyone associated with it.  It's my job to steer and not crash it, but I don't own the bus.  So when Matt was holding out for more money, I felt for his cast and crew who had to wait another six months to go back to work.  Then when the specifics of the deal were revealed, I was kinda stunned.  I know Mad Men is a valuable commodity, but the amount they were paying Matt felt unsustainable for a ad-driven cable network.  My initial thought was, "Man, that's a little greedy.  Someone else is gonna take a hit for this."

When news hit of the massive budget cuts on Walking Dead and AMC trying to force Vince Gilligan to finish Breaking Bad in only seven episodes, my reaction was, "Okay, that's who's taking the hit."  It wasn't a stretch of logic, and even though AMC denies the money they paid Weiner had nothing to do with their decisions about WD or BB, I find it hard to believe that the deep payout to MM didn't in some way influence those creative bitch slaps.  

If you're looking for a reason why AMC caved to Weiner, just look at your stock ticker -- AMC is now a publicly traded company.  So how are you going to tell stockholders that your most famous product is potentially going away?  It would be like Apple telling stockholders that iPhones are being discontinued.  Mad Men identifies AMC.  Even though no one really watches it, it is still the most prestigious, award-winning television show in history.  They couldn't let it go.  So, they caved.  Then, like any other corporation, they were forced to apply that loss to their bottom line.  Again, do I have financial documentation to back this up?  No.  I'm not a fucking journalist.  I'm a guy in the business, who is formulating an opinion based on documented facts, history and some inside knowledge.  Am I completely right?  Probably not.  Am I completely wrong?  Probably not.

I know for a fact that when Breaking Bad was being forced to end their award-winning series in only seven episodes, Vince Gilligan approached other networks.  I know for a fact, when AMC got wind of that, they caved.  At the end of the day, I believe the deal they made with Vince was not because they believe in the show, it's because they are afraid of more negative backlash.  Darabont's firing, boggling Breaking Bad, cancelling Rubicon, AMC is really struggling.  Not to stroke the hand that feeds me, but they should take a page from Landgraf's handbook -- empower the artist.  Pretend that it's a forum for creativity not a multinational corporation.  Mad Men is coming to an end, if AMC doesn't figure out how to develop, how to nurture and maintain relationships with writers, they are going to be know an the network who used to have that really good show.

Why is this any of my business?  It's not.  I don't work for AMC.  I don't know Vince.  I know Frank a bit, but he's not a close acquaintance.  Why am I ringing the bells?  I don't know.  I think what started out as just a desperate need for attention has turned into something greater.  Perhaps, my bombastic opinions are my service to fellow creatives.  There's a large part of the entertainment community that would just like me to shut the fuck up.  They think I'm a loud-mouthed, arrogant douchebag who should just collect my big check and stop rocking the boat.  To them I respectfully say, "Suck my dick."  This Twitter thing has reignited my fire to blow the balls off of shit.  And even though I'm doing it anonymously on social media, I will continue to proudly own it here.

Thanks for reading.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


So I did this interview yesterday for some bullshit Internet show that a friend of mine executive produces.  I was told I'd have a forum to help clear up some of the controversy and address the AMC comments.  We taped for about forty minutes and by the end I felt confident that I was able to articulate a well-rounded point of view.  

The bigger issue I wanted to discuss was how Twitter is being co-opted by the main stream media and that eventually they're gonna kill it by manipulating information into titillating stories.  What aired this morning on the Internet show was just that -- a titillating manipulation of facts.  So they took the forum and spun it into soundbites that ultimately just continued to fuel the controversy.  They avoided the bigger problem, because they are part of the bigger problem.  

I'm such a fucking jackass.

Monday, August 15, 2011


I guess there was something in the LA Times about me beefing with Charlie at the TCA's.  It's a little late, but it's true.  Interesting that it shows up during all this Twitter nonsense.  Charlie and I had an email exchange that got misinterpreted on both ends.  When we saw each other the morning of the TCA panel, we both sounded off.  We're fucking alpha males, what else were we gonna do?  We fucking put it on the table, we used the word "cunt" as frequently as possible, and we moved on.  Charlie passed on the panel.  I unfortunately had to sit through it. 

Charlie Hunnam is the consummate professional.  I am blessed to have him as number one on the call sheet.  I'm on record dozens of times praising him for his commitment and passion to SOA.  I truly love the guy.  So when Charlie has a bad day, I pay attention, because it's an anomaly.  So afterwards I had to go back and re-read the email and then take a look at my part.  Because at the end of the day, anything going south on this show is on me.  I discuss that in more detail in this previous blog, HALFWAY

Charlie and I followed up our TCA chat with a great conversation about process.  It was the kind of discourse that every showrunner should have with their talent.  He was able to share with me the stress and challenges of carrying a show and I was able to share my process as well.  More importantly, I was able to listen.  He's a really sensitive, bright guy and a learn from him every day.   

Running a show is a continuous learning experience.  The things I learned last season may not apply to challenges I have this season.  I'm a lucky guy to have actors like Charlie, Katey, Ron and Maggie.  All my actors, all their idiosyncrasies makes the Sons set one of the most fun sets in town.  Ask anyone who guests on this show, it's pretty badass.

Anyway, I'm sure the gossip whores will be all over this, so I just wanted to share my point of view before TMZ turns it into some kinda warlock fight.


Clearly, I've struck a nerve if me pulling my Twitter feed becomes a DHD headline.  People are nervous and they should be.  It's all getting very messy. 

It's amazing that people just assume that FX threatened me to leave Twitter.  Really?  Do you think that's how it works?  I get a call from Landgraf saying I'm denying you a voice and free speech?  And more improbable, do I really seem like a guy who would listen?  I'm the guy who called out Chuck Zito, clearly I have no regard for self-preservation.  On my show, I've learned to conduct myself with restraint, respect and dignity.  I give the job my 100% effort and attention.  What I do beyond that is no one's business. 

Wow, this more than 140 characters thing is great.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Rise and Fall of @Sutterink: Showrunners [Off] Twitter III

Bigger picture presented by a bigger mind.  

The Rise and Fall of @Sutterink: Showrunners [Off] Twitter III

August 14, 2011
By Myles McNutt 


With Sons of Anarchy showrunner Kurt Sutter’s announcement on Saturday that he would be “pulling the plug” on his now deleted Twitter feed, it is the end of an era (albeit a short one). When I looked at Sutter’s twitter feed in the first installment of this series last fall, I posited that there might come a time when Sutter’s brash online persona would overshadow his own show, and it seems that we have reached that point. However, while it was perhaps inevitable that Sutter’s lack of a filter would result in his Twitter account becoming a liability, I can’t shake this feeling that the rise and fall of “@sutterink” has more to do with public perceptions of Twitter than with his actual commentary.

In recent months, online media outlets have taken a sudden interest in Sutter’s Twitter feed, with sites ranging from The Hollywood Reporter to TMZ taking series of tweets and presenting them as news. It started in July when Sutter went on an extended rant regarding the Emmy nominations (where his show, including his wife Katey Sagal, was ignored), and it continued last week, when Sutter shared his opinion on the recent controversy surrounding AMC and The Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont. TMZ shared the former story with the headline “’Anarchy’ Creator PISSED Over Emmy Snub,” while pitched the latter tweets as “‘Sons of Anarchy’s’ Kurt Sutter Goes Off on Frank Darabont’s Firing,” and both stories were picked up by multiple outlets.

What’s interesting is that Sutter’s rants have not really become more prominent in the past year. As I noted in my initial post, Sutter has ranted about the Emmys before, just in the form of a blog post instead of a series of tweets. Sutter has even recently added outlets for his rants, including a YouTube series entitled “WTF Sutter” that features the same kind of profanity-laden honesty his fans have come to expect. However, Sutter’s blog has not been subject to the same media scrutiny, and these outlets have also ignored his YouTube videos.

In what Sutter has pitched as his final tweet, he suggests that Twitter is simply the wrong outlet for someone without a filter. He writes that “ultimately, me having an instantaneous outlet for my darker impulses is not a good thing. i’m a guy who needs filters. lots of them.” In his latest WTF Sutter video, where he foreshadowed his departure from Twitter, he expands on this logic before answering some fan questions: 

Sutter’s departure from Twitter says less about Sutter and more about the ways in which Twitter is perceived by media outlets and by the public at large. Over the course of the past year, we’ve seen the media start to notice Twitter, and they’re starting to find ways to use it: the service has become a resource for cable news outlets (which Jon Stewart has criticized on The Daily Show), and I’d argue that the increased attention to Sutter’s tweets is a product of the media’s search for the best way to leverage this form of social media.

However, I’d also argue that the way Sutter’s tweets were presented is a reflection of a public understanding of Twitter as a soapbox. Sutter’s lament in his YouTube video is that he is no longer able to have a “conversation,” which might refer to the fact that the reports about his tweets rarely include any discussion of the context in which they appeared: TMZ wasn’t talking about the people on Twitter who were encouraging Sutter’s comments about the Emmys (including critics and other showrunners), and The Hollywood Reporter wasn’t interested in the fact that Sutter retweeted a number of critical responses to his AMC-related comments in the days following his initial statements.

I would not necessarily say that this has resulted in Sutter’s comments being taken “out of context,” because even he argues that he has not necessarily been misrepresented by these reports. What I would say is that Sutter’s comments have been filtered through a perception of Twitter as a place for rants and provocations, a place where a Twitter feed is a direct glimpse into the Id (as reflected by coverage of the Anthony Weiner scandal). The story isn’t the actual nature of Sutter’s comments or what they say about the Academy system and the situation at AMC: rather, the story is that someone famous has said something controversial in an outlet that has become known for its controversy, and that has now become publicized based on this perception.

As someone who has written about Sutter’s tweets in the past, I am not suggesting that his tweets should be beyond reproach: he is responsible for what he says within this online space, and I think holding him accountable for that is perfectly reasonable. However, these news reports aren’t interested in holding him accountable; they’re interested in exploiting his comments as gossip, turning them into news without exploring the context of the conversation or even considering their veracity.

Kurt Sutter hasn’t changed since his Twitter feed first appeared, or since my first Antenna piece about it was published. What has changed is the amount of attention paid to Twitter outside of Twitter – Sutter has four times as many followers now than he did then, but that doesn’t take into account (as Sean Duncan noted in the comments on the initial piece) the people who are made aware through outside sources reporting these tweets. And now that this includes major media outlets interested in tapping into the zeitgeist, public figures like television showrunners must reconcile their comments with a mass media that is still trying to figure out what Twitter is, what it’s used for, and how they can best exploit it.

And when you’re Kurt Sutter, that’s a situation in which pulling the plug might be the only viable option if you don’t want your Twitter feed to become a story in and of itself. While it’s possible that Sutter is simply posturing, and that this is a bluff designed to reframe the media narrative (and draw the sympathy of his followers who are pleading him to reconsider), it nonetheless reflects on the changing state of Twitter as discourse.


Catchy title, right?  I'm envisioning a Saturday morning cartoon.  

Not that anyone asked, but I figured I'd elaborate on my social media detachment.  My exit from Twitter was quite simple and, c'mon, let's face it, pretty fucking obvious -- I'm a guy desperately in need of buffers.  I have big feelings, big reactions, big emotions.  All the things that serve me as an artist, but challenge me as a socially-responsible human being.  I've learned in most areas of my life, to bounce heated choices off other people.  Co-workers, my agent, my wife, a sponsor, etc.  A majority of the time, that keeps me on the right side of things.  With Twitter, there was no buffer, just me, my big feelings and my big opinions.  I don't regret any tweet, nor do I apologize.  Everything I said was done in the spirit of social conversation, free speech and was my opinion.  Right or wrong, I said it, I own it.  

I also don't blame anyone for my exit.  No one chased me away except me.  Yes, the lazy blogosphere has given up on journalism and now trolls Twitter for their on-the-record in-depth articles.  Yes, the hate outweighs the love.  But my deactivation was pretty much self-preservation.  Eventually, I would have said something that got me or someone else buried in a suffocating pile of irrevocable toxic man shit. Regular man shit is bad enough, but irrevocable toxic man shit, wow, that never washes out of the BVDs.  Just saying. 

I had dinner with Skeeter Rosenbaum tonight and we were talking about how the whole Twitter phenomenon is really indicative of what's happening in this country.  And I say this in condemnation of myself as much as anyone else -- we are growing into a nation that has no time, desire or capacity for truth.  All we can handle is 140 characters of knowledge.  Headlines, spin, soundbites.  We want other people to tell us what we should think.  It's just cleaner and easier that way.  Awareness, compromise and understanding are no longer tools in our social toolkit.  And clearly the haters outweigh the lovers.  How can they not, when pain-peddlers like TMZ and Radar thrive while community-based newspapers and time-honored periodicals crumble.  America is dying of a broken heart.  And we all sit on the sidelines, eat ourselves into obesity and wonder what celebrity fucked their dog today. 

Wow.  Sorry.  Never expected that to end with dog-fucking.  Anyway, I'm climbing down from my soapbox, now.  Maybe I should get a radio show.  NPR, Sirrius, what d'ya think?  Kurt Sutter's Happy Hour? 

Maybe not... 

Until then, this is Captain Qwitter signing off.

Tune in tomorrow for a new episode: Captain Qwitter and the Undercover Dildo.