‘Sons of Anarchy’ Season 6: Kurt Sutter Justifies Controversial Premiere
Months ago, 'Sons of Anarchy' creator, writer, executive producer and occasional star Kurt Sutter warned press that season 6 premiere "Straw" contained the series' most shocking act of violence yet, a notion validated last night in which a school shooting provided an unforeseen climax to SAMCRO's violent dealings. Now, Sutter has stepped up to defend the scene's effect on the series, without sensationalizing the issue in the wrong light.
Speaking to TVLine, TVGuide, EW and THR, Sutter insisted that the scene in question, featuring a young Catholic schoolboy seen prominently throughout the episode walking into his school with an automatic weapon, had been planned for several years without attempt to capitalize on any recent headlines. The 'Sons of Anarchy' writer maintains that he couldn't worry about sensationalizing the issue, but rather that avoiding the issue for fear of blowback would detract from his creative process.
Rather than demonize any one aspect of the shooting, Sutter explained that the boy's actions arose from a "perfect" storm of factors that included SAMCRO's gun trafficking falling into the wrong hands, and the various catalysts for the boy's mental state. Given the gun's connection to SAMCRO, Sutter intends to use the shooting as a brutal catalyst for the final act of the series, particularly the ramifications of Jax and his children's role within a life of violence.
"What I tried to do, in a non-preachy way, is layer in my point of view, which is that it isn't one thing," Sutter told TVGuide. "I put it in a Catholic school because I didn't want to make a statement about the public school system. I believe that it's about mental illness, which is why I layered that in. I believe it's about parent neglect, which is why I layered that in. I believe it's about the gun laws and illegal guns on the street. All those things contribute to that perfect storm. If I am making any kind of social statement here, it is the fact that it takes a village to heal a kid and it takes a village to f---ing kill a kid."
Even for 'Sons of Anarchy,' "Straw" featured a number of other controversial scenes leading up to the shooting, including Jax's decision to sleep with madame / new business partner Colette (Kim Dickens), Tara's time in prison, and even Tig's disgusting murder of an Iranian torture porn filmmaker. Sutter insisted that Jax's petulant nature sought him to seek comfort in Colette's maternal nature, while the recent events have had drastic impacts on the other characters that lead them toward more violent outcomes.
The creator even jokingly referenced 'Orange is the New Black' to EW, in comparing how his own series featured a violent women's prison beating in its premiere, while the former series (spoiler alert) made it a climax of its finale.
No doubt 'Sons of Anarchy' will continually inspire more debate as the season rages on, but what say you? Did "Straw"s horrific act of (offscreen) violence cross the line for the FX biker drama? How do you think the season should proceed with such a dark cloud hanging over its head? Check out the latest trailer below, and give us your thoughts in the comments!