Over the years, Kurt Sutter has gotten a good bit of grief (and plenty of headlines) over “Sons of Anarchy” getting snubbed, with one of the most notable moments being when he unleashed tirades on the internet following the release of the 2010 and 2011 Emmy nomination announcement. However, he has since taken a little bit more of a relaxed approach, and following the rather unforgivable snub of the show (especially when it comes to Charlie Hunnam) at the 2012 Golden Globe nominations Thursday, his comments may actually be one of the best explanations we have heard yet for why some shows (see “Smash”) seem to inexplicably receive praise, whereas others (see this show or such comedies like “Community” and “Happy Endings”) fail to get much of any despite being of a certain high quality.
Prior to the nominations even coming out, here is a small sample of what Sutter wrote in a new post on his WhoSay page:
“As the award season gets into gear, I know there is always a lot of buzz around SOA’s exclusion year after year. God knows, I’m responsible for the lion share of that bombastic resentment. But the last few years I’ve had a shift in awareness. And I say this not looking for validation, but simply to address the fan outrage that ensues as we get overlooked from every category of every award. ‘Sons of Anarchy’ is not perceived as an award-worthy show. It’s not that people believe it doesn’t have good writing, acting and directing – I think most of the entertainment community think it’s very good. But the perception, I believe, is that it’s an action-based ‘entertainment’ series, rather than a dramatic ‘art’ series. There are numerous arguments to be made why or why not that may be true, but that’s all pointless. When it comes to doling out statues, perception is 9/10’s of the law.”
Sutter also makes a smart analogy to film, and explains that while movies like “The Dark Knight Rises” can receive great critical acclaim, they are often shunned for awards since it does not really fit in the pre-established box of what they are looking for.
In a perfect world, shouldn’t all television be perceived as art? Definitely, but the truth is that we are not in a perfect world at all, and routinely many deserving shows are kicked to the curb. Even though both “Sons of Anarchy” and “The Walking Dead” have received Golden Globe nominations in the past (Katey Sagal even won Best Actress in a Drama Series back in 2011), the general perception is that awards-show voters like to carry with them a certain amount of elitism. If your show has a high viewership, especially as a drama, that is almost its own reward. It doesn’t quite work like this in comedy, but it is telling that the top-rated shows on AMC (“Walking Dead”), FX (the show we are talking about now), and HBO (“True Blood”) were all left in the cold this year. Even “Game of Thrones,” which had a superior year to season 1, was dropped in favor of a controversial choice in “The Newsroom.”
Would “Sons of Anarchy” fans and Sutter alike love more recognition? Sure, but as he points out that is not why he makes the series. It is for the fans first, and they are showing with the numbers just how much the attention is appreciated.
Do you think that we will ever see this show get nominated again for a major award? If you want to read some more on the upcoming “Sons of Anarchy” season 6, you can do so over here.