British TV regulators respond to complaints about The Walking Dead’s violent season premiere, saying that the violence is in line with the show.
Leave it to the British to make sense of complaints that The Walking Dead’s Season 7 premiere was too violent. Ofcom, the UK television and communications regulators, responded to complaints that Negan’s violent antics in “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” were too gory for the UK version of primetime television.
According to The Sun, Ofcom received complaints from 10 viewers who said that The Walking Dead’s season premiere was too violent for the 9pm time slot. After an investigation, Ofcom released their findings: “Our investigation found that Fox (the UK channel that airs The Walking Dead) took appropriate steps to edit the programme for the 9pm showing.”
Evidently, Fox cut certain scenes for the earlier audience and aired the full version of the episode to coincide with the US airing, and they also made the unedited version available on demand. In an interesting contrast, most UK and European television stations have less concern with nudity and language while strictly regulating violence, which is the opposite of what you see in America.
What’s more interesting, however, is that Ofcom had no issue with the show’s violence and they suggested that the violence is in keeping with the show’s story: “This is a well-established series, and we believe the scenes would have been consistent with many viewers’ expectations.”
Ofcom’s opinion falls in line with the majority of viewers who believe that any change to the level of violence in the show would alter the show’s integrity. The Walking Dead is an inherently violent show at times, but out of necessity. Similar complaints about the show’s gory season premiere were launched earlier this year with the FCC in the United States, but the show was not subjected to any kind of investigation.
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While some viewers have pledged to stop watching the show because of the season premiere’s violent scenes, The Walking Dead’s ratings remain as strong as ever despite reports to the contrary.