AMC; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
SAMCRO has a message for Don Draper.
Kurt Sutter not only is the brain behind FX's hit drama Sons of Anarchy, about an outlaw motorcycle gang, but he plays one of its members too. So as you'd expect, he's not afraid to speak his mind, especially when it comes to his fellow artists and competitors.
So what did Sutter have to say about Mad Men's mastermind, Matthew Weiner?
Blasting out a series of tweets, the producer-director-writer blamed Weiner's battle with AMC over renewing the latter's show for the upheaval that's ensnared the cable net's hit zombie series, The Walking Dead, which saw the abrupt exit of its show runner, Shawshank Redemption helmer Frank Darabont.
"Why Darabont got fired - Weiner. he held AMC hostage, broke their bank, budgets were slashed, shit rolled down hill onto Gilligan and Frank," Sutter wrote on his Twitter page.
By Frank, of course, he means Darabont and Gilligan is Vince Gilligan, the creator of AMC's Emmy-winning Breaking Bad, which is going through its own behind-the-scenes turmoil as AMC decides whether to renew the show for a fifth and final season.
Despite being one of AMC's most acclaimed programs that—along with Mad Men—has upped the channel's prestige and audience ten-fold, Reuters reports that negotiations have hit such a low point that Gilligan has reached out to FX about jumping networks. This after AMC requested Breaking Bad's final run be reduced from eight to six episodes.
In another Twitter post, Sutter said the hard stance AMC has been taking with two of its best assets stems from the tough concessions Weiner extracted from the network that resulted in protracted negotiations which pushed production on Mad Men back a year. Consequently, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead face an uncertain fate.
"No one else wants to f--king say it, but the greed of Mad Men is killing the other two best shows on tv -- Breaking Bad and Walking Dead," he added.
The multi-hyphenate, who also plays Sons of Anarchy's incarcerated club member "Big Otto" Delaney, then revealed the insider's take on Darabont's departure: AMC ousted him because—as the Hollywood Reporter revealed in a bombshell story—he wouldn't play ball. That is to say when it came to heeding executives' orders to reduce The Walking Dead's budget, Darabont balked, saying it would harm the show's creative integrity.
"Darabont reacted strongly to slashed budgets. he made mistakes, he was fired. no creative in town will trust AMC to back up their artists," he tweeted.
Sutter added that he personally has "no beef" with Weiner, but was just speaking out because he hated the fact that "Darabont is being demonized."
"No one has the balls to tell the truth, [Mad Men] gutted AMC," he wrote.
In response to E! News' request for comment on Sutter's allegations, AMC released a statement saying "nothing could be further from the truth."
"We respect Kurt as a writer, but not as our CFO," said the network.
The über-producer concluded his online rant with a frank observation about Hollywood's power structure.
"I have trouble determining the line between honesty and brutal frankness. i usually get pushed past it by bullshit and injustice," he confessed. "Apparently speaking one's mind is outrageous, troublesome and self-indulgent. man, this is a town full of silent, terrified d---suckers."