Last week, in the wake of an episode of the FX drama Sons of Anarchy which showed a graphic school shooting, the PTC urged support for Cable Choice – and the show’s creator, Kurt Sutter, exploded in rage.
According to the trade publication Deadline: Hollywood, in reacting to the PTC’s statement that peple shouldn’t have to pay for programs they don’t watch and find offensive, Sutter shrieked about the PTC “monitoring what my children watch” and encouraging “censorship.”
As is typical for Hollywood, this is a blatant lie. The PTC’s action alert about the Sons of Anarchy episode said or did nothing that could remotely be considered in favor of “censorship.” We merely advocated Cable Choice, saying that if TV viewers don’t find stories about school children being massacred entertaining, they shouldn’t have to pay for it.
This demonstrates the thinking in Hollywood. The American people cannot be allowed to decide what to pay for with their own money. Because, see, they might choose not to pay for Sons of Anarchy; and in Hollywood’s eyes, anyone who doesn’t support Kurt Sutter’s ultra-violent and exploitative programming is a fascist guilty of “censorship.”
Of course, Sutter’s attack didn’t end there. He sneered that the PTC’s members are “just not very intelligent.” Sutter’s deeply “intelligent” response to the PTC was: “I’m a f****** storyteller. They’re just f****** ridiculous…Until somebody kicks in my door and tackles me to the ground and cuts off my f****** hands, I’m going to keep doing what I do. So f*** them.” (Nothing demonstrates superior intelligence like using the f-word four times in as many sentences.) And Sutter’s hysterically over-the-top shrieking about people “kicking in my door” and “cutting off my f****** hands” is ludicrous. Apparently, Sutter is so fascinated by the bikers on the program he writes that he believes the PTC uses the same violent tactics as they do. Or maybe he’s just a drama queen.
Moreover, Sutter’s response reeks of hypocrisy. Sutter claims that he wanted to “rip the f****** scab off” and force Americans to “have a conversation” about violence, and the need for society to take responsibility for preventing it. This is coming from a man whose program has shown the following:
Tig accidentally killed the daughter of top crime boss Damon Pope. Pope has Tig’s daughter kidnapped, placed in a pit, and doused with gasoline. Pope deliberately sets the girl on fire. She shrieks in agony and begs her father to help her as she burns to death before her bound father’s eyes. (September 11, 2012)
Opie’s wife Donna has been murdered. Opie stands over a member of the Mayan gang with his gun.
Opie: “Tell me you did it,” Opie screams, “tell me you killed my wife!”
Mayan: “I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.“
Opie sticks his gun in the Mayan’s mouth, but the Mayan continues to insist that his gang had nothing to do with Donna’s murder. Opie refuses to kill the Mayan until he confesses. Tig shoots the Mayan in the side of the face, near his mouth so he can’t talk. Blood and gore splatters on the ground. Opie shoots the Mayan in the head, killing him. Opie then takes out his knife and carves an “A” for anarchy into the victim’s torso. Jax mutilates the corpse by shooting it full of more bloody holes. (September 8, 2009)
A white supremacist gang kidnaps Gemma and gang-rapes her. She is shown handcuffed to a fence as masked men tug at her legs. After one rapist finishes with her, another steps in and says, “I want you to pass on a message to your old man. Tell him to stop selling guns to n****** and wet*****. Or we find you and we do this again.”
(September 8, 2009)
The Sons hold the man who raped Oswald’s daughter.
Clay: “Here’s the scumbag raped your little girl.”
Oswald approaches the bound and gagged rapist. He holds up an implement.
Oswald: “Cattle guys call this an Elsie-maker. It’s used to cut the balls off of bulls.”
The bikers strip the rapist.
Clay: “He deserves every second of the pain.”
Oswald drops his knife and leaves. Clay picks up the knife and cuts the testicles off the rapist. A graphic close-up shows the bloody, severed testicles on the ground.
Clay: “Pick those up and gift-wrap them. Let him bleed out. Bury him in the woods. Mark the grave.”
(September 17, 2008)
Apparently, Sutter sees no contradiction in making heroes of strip joint-owning, drug-dealing, gun-running, murderous, ultra-violent gang members – then claiming his show opposes violence. This is like an anti-war protester machine-gunning a crowd in the name of pacifism. One thing is undeniable: Sutter’s program has done more to increase fascination with violence, and to desensitize viewers to it, than anything the Parents Television Council has ever said or done.
One person who wrote to the PTC claimed that our criticism of Sons of Anarchy was “a publicity stunt.” Conveniently ignored is the fact that the entire affair was a publicity stunt — by Kurt Sutter. The school shooting scene was a transparent attempt to gin up controversy and draw attention and viewers to his sick, grotesquely violent biker show. Sutter, his program, and FX all stand to profit by this episode exploiting last December’s tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.
The bottom line is this: Kurt Sutter aired an episode of his ultra-violent TV show – a show only a tiny minority of Americans watch, but which all are forced to pay for. In it, he exploited the real-life mass murder of children, for his own profit, under the phony guise of making a statement against violence. When the PTC dared to confront his hypocrisy, he sanctimoniously attempted to wrap himself in the First Amendment, claiming that anyone who criticizes him is a fascist who favors “censorship.”
The PTC is proud to call Sutter out for his blood-money hypocrisy – and to push for the right of the American people to pay for only the TV shows they watch.