The Walking Dead will continue to match the violence to the story

Walker - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 11 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Walker - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 11 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

Backlash from the backlash about violence in The Walking Dead has caused fans to get riled up over the words of actors and producers but likely for nothing.

The season 7 premiere caused an uproar after a summer of waiting and waiting after the cliffhanger of the series. We waited months and months to see who had been brutally beaten by the barbed wire bat of Negan. Then when we saw the beating, and were drained by the brutal and exhausting episode, we found out that it was too much for some viewers.

What was too much? Not the wait anymore, but the beating that we knew was coming. It was too brutal. Too graphic. Too sad. Too emotional. Too everything apparently. And they let AMC know it.

This brought out the brutality in the fans who couldn’t believe that there were fans with the audacity to complain about violence in a zombie show. Granted, this violence did not involve zombies, but the fans were riled up.

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I’m not generally a person who gets riled up. Or if I do, I get riled up in my head. I usually work it out there and don’t panic. I’m not one to panic. I try to look at all the sides. I don’t necessarily agree with all the sides, but I try to look at them.

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I figured, things would blow over after the premiere and if people wanted to quit watching because of the violence, or because of Negan or for whatever reason, that’s their prerogative. There’s no need to call them names or tell them to F off if they can’t handle it. I love the show and I can turn my head or close my eyes for a few seconds if I choose. I don’t need to be berated for it.

I didn’t care for the vulgarity of Negan’s famous line to Rick, but I’m not going to stop watching the show. I still love the show. I am not a baby because I don’t like that kind of thing.

Recently, the violence issue has become a big panic again because Gale Anne Hurd said that the show is not “torture porn” and that “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.”

She didn’t say they completely toned down the show and took out all the violence. What she meant by toned down was not clear. but fans and the media went crazy. Headlines like, “Our worst fears have come true: AMC Confirmed Sickening Major Changes

Related Story: Fans could tone down the reaction to toning down the violence

She may have just meant that they were more aware of decisions that they were making as to what was important in the story telling. She could have meant any number of things. She never said that things were cut or edited.

She could have also meant exactly what Scott Gimple and Greg Nicotero clarified to Entertainment Weekly, but said it awkwardly–that the premiere was over the top and meant to be over the top and they didn’t take anything after that as far as that during the rest of the season.

"“The violence in the premiere was pronounced for a reason. The awfulness of what happened to the characters was very specific to that episode and the beginning of this whole new story. I don’t think like that’s the base level of violence that necessarily should be on the show. It should be specific to a story and a purpose, and there was a purpose of traumatizing these characters to a point where maybe they would have been docile for the rest of their lives, which was Negan’s point. But I will say again, the violence in the premiere was for a specific narrative purpose and I would never say that that’s the baseline amount of violence that we would show on the show. If we’re ever going to see something that pronounced, there needs to be a specific narrative purpose for it.” ~Scott Gimple"

Greg Nicotero simply said, “No,” about changing anything in the remainder of the season based on feedback about the brutality in the premiere.

"“As brutal as that episode 1 was, it’s still part of our storytelling bible, which is what the world is about. I don’t think we would ever edit ourselves, and I think — even after looking at that episode 1 again — as tough as it was for people to watch, I don’t think we would have done it any differently. I don’t think we’ll ever pull ourselves back. There is definitely a difference between violence against walkers and human on human violence, but truthfully, we’re serving our story.”~Greg Nicotero"

Then poor Joshua Hoover has been quoted from an interview he did with as evidence that AMC has cut scenes for violence when he was just giving an interview and speaking extemporaneously and having fun with an interviewer. He never meant to imply that his scenes were cut or edited for any censorship.

Scott Gimple addressed the Fat Joey scene and the iron scene with what makes the most sense:

"“Specific to that scene, I guess specific to everything, no. Greg Nicotero is the greatest makeup special effects guy in the world, but… what you don’t see sometimes can be so much more horrible than what you see, what you imagine. And with the iron, that’s a really good example. That’s something that I think the audience should do a little bit more of the work on. Also because as far as that kind of moment, the reality of what that would look like is strange-looking. We’ve been in fist fights when we were kids on the playground and there’s amalgams to that violence, but that kind of strange burn, the audience doing that in their head, even hearing it, it’s just a different moment.”"

So perhaps, Gale Anne Hurd misspoke. I can’t speak for her. I do know that I trust the show and I think she is a smart woman. It must be impossible to say anything anymore to anyone without having your words blown up everywhere and interpreted to an extreme.

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For now, I think the fans can relax and stop the panic madness. The show returns in February and the gang will be together preparing to fight.  Save the energy to get ready for All Out War against Negan and the Saviors instead of bickering with each other.