Sons of Anarchy fans are well-aware SAMCRO member Piney Winston wore a different vest than the rest of the crew, and now series creator Kurt Sutter is revealing why. When a fan on social media asked Sutter about apparel choice, he explained how it was because Piney was "old school."
"When the club started, they couldn't afford leather," he explained. "They all had denim. After the First Nine, they added leather kuttes. Piney wasn't a fan of change. He kept wearing denim." Piney played by actor William Lucking, was an original SAMCRO member having co-founded the crew alongside fellow war veteran John Teller. His son Opie was also a SAMCRO member. Piney was a key character in the first four seasons of SoA, but was eventually murdered by Clay (Ron Perlman), who set up the death to look like it had been committed by the Lobos Sonora.
After SoA, Sutter went on to create the spinoff series Mayans M.C., which will be going into its third season on FX. Notably, Sutter was fired from the show in 2019, later explaining that he thinks a joke he wrote into a Mayans episode may have been what landed him in hot water with the network's new owner, Disney. "Here's what I did wrong on the studio network side, the reason why I had to go away. It all started with a joke. And not a very good one," Sutter said.
"There was a line in the Season 2 premiere. EZ [JD Pardo] and Coco [Richard Cabral] were getting off the bus at the school where the drugs were being processed," he recalled. "There was supposed to be a really gnarly playground out front. Filled with debris, dangerous looking swings, sharp objects, rusty jungle gym, etc. As they exited, Coco sees EZ's distracted and says: 'Lighten up Boy Scout,' and gesturing to the playground, says, 'We're going to Disneyland.' EZ replies: 'Yeah? Guess this is where Walt buried all the Jews he had killed.' Coco comments: 'That's dark man…' And exits."
Sutter continued that although the joke came out of character, in any other environment it would have been "typical" of his dark humor brand. "I'm not an idiot," he said. "I knew it would ring some bells. Whether real or imagined, I was already experiencing the tightening of the noose. It was manifesting in production issues, creating more hurdles, etc. I've learned over the years through trial and error – a lot of error – how to push back to protect story from corporate conformity."