By James Hibberd
Updated March 30, 2011 at 04:29 PM EDT
Credit: Michael Underwood/' AMC

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner issued a statement to fan site Basket of Kisses clarifying his negotiating position that has delayed the show’s eagerly anticipated fifth season until 2012. “There’s been a lot of speculation and misinformation in the press about what is going on,” Weiner said. “I want the fans to know directly from me that I had nothing to do with this delay and it is not about money. I am fighting for the cast and for the show. And I appreciate the kindness and concern of the fans.”

Weiner said he didn’t have an “actual conversation” haggling with the network until three weeks ago. The showrunner also confirmed he was asked to cut two actors from the show each year for three years, though at least one report disputes this. “Even though people have left the show, none of that has ever been about money,” he said. “I’ve brought the show in on budget. I’ve been a good producer.”

Meanwhile, another showrunner seemingly weighed in. Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter tweeted: “You can’t ask a network for 10 million, then b—- when they want to expand their ad revenue source. Whore or saint, pick one.”

Weiner disputed that he’s been been offered $10 million to continue with the show for three years (though notably didn’t say whether the number was too high or too low) and says it’s not a number he sought out. “First of all, the number that’s been published is not true,” Weiner said. “Second of all, I offered to have less money, to save the cast, and to leave the show in the running time that it’s supposed to be. The harder that I’ve fought for the show, the more money that they’ve offered me.”

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Mad Men

Jon Hamm stars as Don Draper in the Emmy-winning ’60s-set drama

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