Kurt Sutter is the latest television showrunner in the Fox family to lash out against Fox News Channel in the wake of the network’s controversial coverage of Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy. Sutter’s critical opinions of Fox News follow similar comments made by Seth MacFarlane, Judd Apatow, and “Modern Family” creator Steve Levitan.
“The political decision made by this administration was heinous. But I don’t consider what Fox airs as ‘news,’” Sutter said in a statement to Deadline. “It’s manipulative propaganda, run by oligarchs, delivered by puppets, to control the fearful.”
Sutter has had a celebrated career in television over the last 16 years thanks to Fox. The creator broke out as a writer, director, and producer of FX’s “The Shield” under the guidance of showrunner Shawn Ryan. Sutter went on to create FX’s long-running drama “Sons of Anarchy,” which ran for seven seasons and 92 episodes, as well as the short-lived “The Bastard Executioner.” Sutter is returning to FX later this year with the “Sons of Anarchy” spinoff series “Mayans MC.” The showrunner stressed FX is not influenced by Fox News.
“What I do with FX and Fox 21 is not influenced by that energy,” Sutter said. “Yes, we are all owned by the parent company, but contrarily, at FX, other artists and myself are given the freedom to tell stories that address real issues in a truthful way. I guess we just learn to live with the sad irony that our fiction is more truthful than Fox News’ facts.”
Several hours after Sutter gave his statement to Deadline, President Trump signed an executive order ending his zero-tolerance immigration policy. The policy drew extreme backlash for separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexican border.
Seth MacFarlane was the first Fox showrunner to speak out against the network, saying he was embarrassed to be associated with the company after Fox News host Tucker Carlson told viewers not to trust the word of rival news stations on the issue. Steve Levitan voiced his support for MacFarlane and said he was “disgusted to work” at Fox after Laura Ingraham referred to some child detention centers as “summer camps [or] boarding schools.” Apatow, meanwhile, called for a boycott and encouraged Fox-backed actors, executives, and more to speak out against Fox News.
IndieWire has reached out to Fox News Channel for comment.