So with all of that in mind, you’d think there are very few restrictions on the sort of sex, violence and swearing that Sons of Anarchy could include during its run from 2008 to 2014. According to the drama series‘ creator Kurt Sutter, you’d be wrong and it was sometimes a very specific thing he was told not to include.
Sutter told Time Out that he had “a really good relationship with our Standards and Practices person, [but] some of it’s just odd and arbitrary” in terms of certain language and content restrictions.
He added: “Sometimes it’s frustrating, but for the most part they understand what the show is. At the very least, there’s always a conversation that can be had. Interestingly enough, very rarely [do we] get pulled back on the violence, it’s always about sexuality. I had this whole porn arc in season two and we’re doing some of it again in season four and I can’t show sex toys. These rules are very odd. There’s definitely some hurdles and some hoops I have to jump through.”
Murder: fine. Torture: fine. But an innocent sex toy or two? Beyond the pale.
TV restrictions are a confusing world, but Sutter certainly gave audiences plenty of edgy and disturbing material. He knew how to walk the line, and all it took was the skill of avoiding dildos. Who knew?