Your move, Robert Kirkman.
Kurt Sutter, the outspoken creator of “Sons of Anarchy, launched another attack on AMC and “The Walking Dead” tonight (Jan. 2). But this time he singled out “TWD” comic series creator — no doubt provoked by Kirkman’s complaint that Sutter is “ranting about things he knows nothing about.”
In his latest rant, a surprisingly muted 12-minute video diatribe, Sutter blasts AMC’s showrunner shuffle — the latest being the shocking departure of Glen Mazzara, who himself took over for Frank Darabont.
“The process of showrunning and vision is not something everyone can do,” he explains. “You have to have somebody who understands the process of making a television show week after week.”
And that somebody, he makes clear, is not Robert Kirkman.
“Robert is an amazing visual artist and a graphic artist, [but] he knows very little about TV,” observes Sutter. “And the reins keep going back to him in this process, and he doesn’t know how to run a show.”
Comic books and TV are two very different mediums, Sutter points out, “and consequently those visions keep colliding [on “The Walking Dead”]. “And as a result people like Darabont, people like Glen Mazzara, keep going away.”
Insisting that showrunning is “a specific skill that comes innately — it’s part of the talent, it’s part of the creative process,” Sutter suggests that the network’s “fear-based” decision-making results in “death to the creative process.”
The hotheaded husband of actress Katey Sagal also offered up his predictions for “The Walking Dead’s” future:
“The show has tremendous following — has legs. They’re going to plug somebody else, some pour soul, in there … my sense is they won’t even hire a showrunner. They’ll throw a s***load of executives at it and [elevate] a poor sap on the writing staff … And that poor sap will ultimately be just expediting the notes and the vision of non-creative people, or at least non-creative TV people.”
(Another dig at Kirkman?)
“That’ll work for a minute,” he continued. “In Season 4, when this will all happen, the numbers will be big, and people will show up. Will it continue to do well? No. My sense is that without somebody like a Glen Mazzara running that show, eventually it will lose focus and the narratives will run out of steam, and it won’t be able to build off of itself, and it will suffer.”
In his no-holds-barred assault, Sutter spares one of Kirkman’s fellow executive producers.
“I have tremendous amount of respect for Gale Anne Hurd,” he says. “She’s very writer friendly, very supportive of artists … my sense is that she’s caught between a rock and a hard place. And she’s trying to continue to put out the best show she can under those circumstances.”
But ultimately, Sutter believes, “I think people will keep shooting themselves in the foot out of fear and out of ignorance.”
Reiterating that “The Walking Dead” controversy is “none of my business at all,” Sutter concludes that his message is “in support of my fellow showrunners, my fellow artists — and hopefully as a little bit of a wakeup call to AMC.
“Not that they give a f*** what d*****bag like me says,” concludes the notoriously profane Sutter. “They probably don’t give a f***.
“That’s the deal. Happy f***ing New Year.”
Do you agree with Sutter, or should he mind his own (show) business?