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Mayans MC” co-creator Elgin James said that he initially resisted telling stories influenced by his traumatic upbringing but later realized he had to tell those stories.

“I do know that I have these stories that I have to tell,” James said at the TCA summer press tour on Friday. “I have this damage inside me that I have to get out. And I don’t want any nice people who are worried about what I’m going to do for society to tell me I can’t tell my story.”

“Mayans MC” picks up four years after the conclusion of “Sons of Anarchy,” focusing now on the Latino outlaw motorcycle club that was at times either friend of foe of the Sons in the original series.

Fellow “Mayans” co-creator and “Sons of Anarchy” creator Kurt Sutter also said that his desire to tell an authentic story led him to seek out someone like James to craft nuanced stories with complex characters.

“I was very aware that a white guy from Jersey shouldn’t be writing a show solely that takes place in a Latino subculture and it’s not because it wasn’t politically correct,” he said. “It was about what made the most sense creatively.”

He also praised James, saying that when the two first met to discuss the show he knew almost immediately that he “was no longer the smartest guy at the table.”

Sutter went on to say that he never writes his characters with the idea that they are inherently bad or dangerous. “I write them from the idea that they’re human beings with complex feelings, complex internal pressures, complex relationships,” he said.