Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter is not one to stay silent for very long and this time, he's making his opinions heard on the carriage fight between satellite cable provider DirecTV and the Fox Networks.
Late last week, DirecTV told Fox Networks that it will drop the channels Tuesday, Nov. 1 if the companies aren't able to come to an agreement in the ongoing carriage dispute. Later that day, Fox said that it had offered an extension but that DirecTV "informed us and their customers that unless we agree to their remainds, they 'will suspend our networks on Nov. 1.' " According to DirecTV, Fox Networks is seeking a 40 percent increase in its carriage fees.
Sutter, whose Sons of Anarchy airs on FX and is in jeopardy of being pulled next week should an agreement not be made, revealed on Monday that he filmed a promo that he says "will air before Tuesday night's episode" of his show. The point, he says, "is to mobilize fans against DirecTV." But Sutter said that he "had to follow an FX legal script that felt like complete bullshit. I'm sure it will serve it's purpose, but I feel compelled to let SOA fans know what I WANTED to say."
Part of the script that Sutter claims he wasn't allowed to use, states, "Starting Nov. 1, DirecTV is pulling FX from your box. That means you'l miss the last five episodes of Sons this season. Perhaps five of the most critical episodes of the series. I know Fox has a horse in this race, but they're trying to negotiate in good faith. DirecTV is shutting down all conversation and using thier customers as leverage. In the process, you're getting f---ed over. They're running ads with their corporate shill telling you how much 'they care about your business'; that dude's got one sincere hand on his heart while the other greases your unsuspecting backside. Because they're about to flip you over and f--- you up the ass till you bleed. ... Let 'em know they can't f--- with your Sons of Anarchy."
Sutter admitted that he is a cog in a much larger machine. "I am well aware that I am working for the right-handed smoking man," he wrote. "Truth is, every large entertainment company is an extension of some corporate behemoth. FX is no exception. The thing that keeps me there is that they care as much about creative process as they do their bottom line. That's not only rare, it's pretty much nonexistent everywhere else in Hollywood. That bubble is floated by [FX chief] John Landgraf. If it weren't for that guy, I'd be selling star maps and handjobs in front of the Motherlode."
Fox's carriage agreement with DirecTV expired Sept. 30. Fox Networks includes FX, National Geographic Channel, 19 regional sports channels, Fox Movie Channel, Speed, Fuel TV, Fox Soccer and Fox Deportes. Fox broadcast stations and Fox News Channel are not involved in the negotiations.
Fox and its parent company, News Corp., were involved in a dispute with Cablevision last year and Fox channels were blacked out on Dish Network in October 2010 amid a dispute, during which Sutter called Dish "whores" on Twitter.