According to Taylor Sheridan, it was a malicious insult from one of FX’s business attorneys that ultimately got him over the edge and led him to become a writer. The verbal slap came during contract negotiations over his Sons of Anarchy salary, which was at guest-star rate (as of the deadline).
“When my attorney said, ‘Look, there are kids on Cartoon Network who make more than you’re offering this guy,’ this business idiot says, ‘he probably deserves to make more, but we’re not going to pay him more because you know what? He’s not worth it anymore,’” Sheridan told Deadline. “‘There are 50 of him. He’s 11 on the call log. That’s what this guy is and that’s all he’ll ever be,'” the attorney reportedly added. “I really stopped there [because] This is how the store saw me: ‘Let’s replace it with a cheaper one.’ And I’ve decided I don’t want to be 11 on the call log for the rest of my life.”
After spending some time figuring out what he needed to be other than an actor, Sheridan finally ended up writing screenplays after a creative meeting with fellow actor Hugh Dillon. “I knew what to do,” Sheridan told AdWeek. According to him, the next day he wrote the first episode of “The Mayor of Kingstown,” which was shelved until 2021. “I said, ‘Hugh, I’ll put this in a box, and we’re not going to pull it out until I have enough strength to make it the way we want it.’ And it took 10 years,” recalled himself Sheridan.