Oh, the battles that go on between intelligent and fiercely-creative people in the world of television. We could speculate over what is going on behind the scenes on “The Walking Dead,” but where would it lead us? When no one is really talking about the circumstances surrounding executive producer Glen Mazzara’s exit (save for the familiar “creative differences” explanation), sometimes it is better to let the varying opinions speak for themselves without really pointing the blame in any one direction.
If you remember correctly, “Sons of Anarchy” creator Kurt Sutter recently expressed his displeasure over AMC’s decision to part ways with Mazzara, and accused the network of thinking in terms of their bottom line over producing a consistent product that would be pleasing to viewers in the long-term. On Christmas Eve, Sutter continued his digital diatribe-of-sorts by taking an apparent stab at “The Walking Dead” comic writer Robert Kirkman, who also serves as an executive producer on the show:
“AMC sent me a gift basket filled with sour tastes, forbidden fruit, broken promises and the marinated tongue used to lick kirkman’s a**.”
Sutter also retweeted a message suggesting that Kirkman has a habit of “screwing [people] over,” and either the comment, the retweet, or both prompted the writer to post a message of his own less than 24-hours before Christmas Day arrived:
“[Kurt Sutter] is brilliant and Sons is my favorite show on TV. Still, it’s upsetting to see him ranting about things he knows nothing about … except that marinated tongue thing… That thing is awesome. Merry Christmas!”
Would Kirkman have presented a stronger case for himeslf if he had shared some more details? Sure, but in terms of making this story less of a big deal, he obviously opted to remain coy.
What we can really say about the subject is this: when Mazzara first took over “The Walking Dead” duties during season 2 production (and following the exit of Frank Darabont), he did so inheriting a skeptical and enormous fanbase. However, by the end of his tenure he had a product on the small screen that was actually vastly better than what was there beforehand. “The Walking Dead” became a ratings monster during the time in which he steered the ship, and one of the reasons why is that he helped to elevate some of Kirkman’s material into the sort of zombie drama that everyone was hoping to see on TV. Therefore, it’s devastating to see him go, regardless of what the reasoning for it is, and we have to imagine that he, like Darabont, is going to land on his feet somewhere else soon with at least a pilot order.
Given that Sutter and Mazzara know each other from their days working together on “The Shield,” it is easy to understand why the former would stand up for the latter in such a public forum; in a way, it’s also admirable given that so many in this business opt to keep quiet. However (and as Kirkman says), we also still are not privy to a full story, since neither the comic writer, Mazarra, nor AMC have spoken out about any of the decisions that caused the showrunner to end up saying goodbye.
As always, we do want to hear your take on these comments below, and if you can separate yourself from the emotion of Mazzara’s exit, you can read some scoop about the rest of “The Walking Dead” season 3 (which he continued to run up until the finale) over here.