I asked Sons Of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter to write about how he’s feeling after the Emmy nominations came out today:
There’s a certain cachet that comes with being snubbed in all major categories*. Repeatedly.
It’s the “Lucci Factor”. You gain more fame, respect and admiration the more your efforts are ignored. If you win gracefully, you’re famous. If you lose loudly, you’re infamous. I, unfortunately, fall into the later category. Not to say that I haven’t mellowed, I have. I’m halfway through my second paragraph and I haven’t called anyone at AMC a money-whoring, talentless cunt yet. So, that’s progress, right? Honestly – and I actually believe this – I think we’d drop viewers if ‘Sons of Anarchy‘ were ever nominated for an Emmy. My bombastic outlaw-asshole reputation would be tarnished. Or rather, untarnished. I’d be just another smiling douchebag in a new suit, pretending to give a shit on the red carpet. Actually… taking a shit on the red carpet, that’s something that might drop as a “real and honest moment”. Although that’s pretty much what Joan and Melissa have been doing for 10 years and I don’t think either one of them have anything real left on their bodies…
Now, let me be clear… That’s not to say that I don’t want to win an Emmy. I absolutely do. More than anything. Any artist who tells you they don’t want to be acknowledged and awarded by their peers is a fat fucking liar. I’m not sure why they have to be fat, but you get the point.
But here’s the rub — I know on an intellectual level that the Emmys are not and have never been a valid qualifier of talent. I know the people who vote are busy industry people with limited time and departmental biases (Costumers, Production Designers, Makeup, etc.). Throw in the fact that studios and networks spend millions on Emmy campaigns to influence votes, and you end up with a very flawed system where most folks rush to fill in circles for friends and shows they’ve seen once or twice or “heard” were really good.
And yet knowing all of that, I still suffer the emotional and spiritual depletion every July when ‘Sons of Anarchy’ gets zero nominations in all major categories. While other fucking shows that ran out of story three seasons ago, still get tagged to step up to the show. To explain the feeling, I use an analogy from a part of our lives that probably best describes our industry – high school. Remember when that kid you hated from second period French had that big end of year party? You knew he was a lazy, self-important, pompous douchebag, and yet when you didn’t get the invitation, you sobbed into your Members Only jacket and a piece of youthful hope cracked off your soul and fell in dogshit.
Fuck you, Kevin Doyle…
But I digress. So… another season, another bevy of glorious nods for the very talented and the very familiar. “God bless them all. I wish them abundance and success. They deserve all the love and praise the universe gives them.” I’ll be saying that affirmation a lot today. It’ll keep me from killing puppies with a tack hammer.
Hooray for Hollywood.
* I know we received a nom today (and in the past) for Original Song. I honor, love and appreciated the efforts of Bob Thiele Jr. and Noah Gundersen, but music is a creative layer that lives above, beyond and in spite of this show. So the rant above still applies.