The Walking Dead EP Gale Anne Hurd discusses how producers made adjustments to the show’s violence after feedback on the season premiere.
When The Walking Dead showrunners heard feedback after the bloody scene from the show’s Season 7 premiere, they made a few adjustments with the remaining episodes. Gale Anne Hurd made the revelation during a panel at the NATPE Conference. She was joined on the panel by Fear the Walking Dead star Colman Domingo and AMC Networks president-CEO Josh Sapan.
“We were able to look at the feedback on the level of violence. We did tone it down for episodes we were still filming for later on in the season.” Making the changes weren’t done lightly, in keeping with the show’s mission and tone, but Hurd pointed out that The Walking Dead has never been about being a form of “torture porn” and that was the direction the feedback pointed.
It’s not clear from the panel whether the adjustments made were done for later episodes of the seventh seasons or for episodes yet to air in the second half of the season. One might argue thacusses at the face melting scene in “Sing Me a Song” and the scene between Negan and Spencer in “Hearts Still Beating” suggest that the adjustments remain to be seen, and that the adjustments will hit in the second half of the season.
One of the greatest things about The Walking Dead is that AMC has given the showrunners the freedom to stay true to Robert Kirkman’s source material. While the Season 7 premiere was shocking, it was true to the story. It’s quite possible that the toned down material has already aired and none of us noticed. That is a testament to the storytelling in every episode.
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Both Hurd and Sapan attributed the feedback to the amazing TWD Family, saying that fans care so much about the show that they wanted to make sure they listened to their concerns.
The Walking Dead returns February 12th.