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‘Sons Of Anarchy’ School Shooting: Kurt Sutter Defends Controversial Scene

Sons of Anarchy

Fans of Sons Of Anarchy have gotten used to violent scene over the show’s first five season but last night’s season 6 premiere still managed to shock the audience. A controversial school shooting scene at the end of the episode has just about every SOA fan talking today, including creator Kurt Sutter.

Sutter defended the controversial scene saying that most of the carnage happened off screen. Sutter also said that the school shooting was not meant to capitalize off of recent tragedies like Sandy Hook. Instead, the harrowing scene was meant to set up the plot for the sixth season of Sons of Anarchy.

The Sons Of Anarchy creator said that he knew that the story would create a little controversy but added that he wasn’t going to shy away from a good story because of impending blowback.

Sutter told TV Guide: “When the (Sandy Hook) shootings recently happened… I thought, ‘Am I just going to be swinging in the breeze if I tell this story?’ But then I also felt like, ‘I’m not going to not tell this story because I’m afraid that I’m going to get some blowback.’ The best thing I could do as a storyteller was try to do it in the most organic way.”

The FX show was treading on a sensitive topic and Sutter knew that he had to approach the topic carefully. The show’s creator said that he was amazed at how director Paris Barclay was able to create a powerful, yet respectful, scene.

Sutter said: “I thought what Barclay did was beautiful and more horrific than if you were in there seeing body parts fly. The interesting thing is people always think they see a lot of blood and guts on this show and the truth is they don’t. I just find if you give them a hint and then leave the rest up to their imagination, it’s so much more potent. I find that’s much more effective.”

The school shooting scene happened at the end of the episode and will set up the actions for the rest of the season. Sutter said that he didn’t want to focus on the death toll inside of the school but he wanted to make it clear that the characters in the show will be deeply effected by the shooting.

Sutter said: “I know I didn’t want to go in there and create and show the horror, I just wanted to relay that it was happening and play the weight of it in the aftermath… I felt that was the respectful way to tell the story so it didn’t seem sensational. To show a bunch of 9-year-old bloody corpses just would not be the right way to tell that story.”

Sutter added that the shooting scene wasn’t added purely for shock effect. The incident will not vanish in the next few episodes. Instead, it will be the “catalyst” for the rest of the season.

The Sons Of Anarchy creator added: “People know they are the primary gun source for gangs in the northwest…. And Nero as well — that relationship will become complicated as a result of this, because they’re sort of enmeshed by the circumstances. It’ll obviously be the catalyst for what happens in terms of law enforcement… I didn’t want to do that and then ultimately have it just be a story beat and then go away. It’ll be the thing that drives our antagonistic characters for the season.”

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