AMC has released an official statement reacting to the backlash around one of their future spinoffs to The Walking Dead. The popular, long-running zombie apocalypse drama premiered on the network in 2010 and is currently airing season 11. When the season airs its finale later this year, that will be the end of the main branch of the series. However, the universe of The Walking Dead will live on in the continuing spinoff Fear the Walking Dead, which was recently renewed for season 8, a trilogy of films following Andrew Lincoln’s character Rick Grimes, and several additional upcoming series including the anthology Tales of the Walking Dead, and the Negan and Maggie spinoff Isle of the Dead.
One other promised spinoff was set to continue the story of Carol (Melissa McBride) and Daryl (Norman Reedus), two of the most popular and longest surviving characters from the series. The spinoff, which is set to begin filming later this year, is set in Europe, a logistical decision that prevented McBride from being able to reprise her role, causing her to exit the series, which will now be retooled to focus entirely on Daryl. This exit caused fans to speculate that Reedus forced the European setting and essentially ousted McBride from the show, causing an uproar on Twitter and other social media platforms which their The Walking Dead co-star Jeffrey Dean Morgan recently called “toxic.”
On Twitter today, AMC TV jumped in with a statement in defense of Reedus. The network states that the actor is “being unfairly targeted” and that he had no part in the decision for McBride to leave the series. They admit that the fans are an important part of the Walking Dead family, but in this case their ire is entirely unfounded. AMC says that they are working on finding a way to keep Carol’s story going in the ever-expanding universe of the show. Check out their statement below:
For a network to officially comment on social media posts means the situation is serious. Typically, official accounts don’t take sides when it comes to fan controversies, but they were rather quick to join the fray and defend both McBride and Reedus for their part in this online drama. Part of the reason for this is likely buried in the final third of their Tweet thread.
The universe of The Walking Dead is indeed expanding at a rapid rate, and while McBride is unable to film in Europe, that doesn’t mean she’s unavailable should a spinoff take place in the United States. Although the network has nothing official to announce at this time, it sounds like they are most likely pursuing some course of action that will allow McBride to return as Carol in the future. Most likely, AMC will try to find a way of working Carol into one of their other developing projects, like Maggie and Negan’s New York-set spinoff, which is still finding its main cast.
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Source: AMC TV/Twitter