AMC TV has come to the defense of The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus after the actor faced backlash after the departure of Melissa McBride from their Daryl & Carol spinoff series.
“Norman Reedus is being unfairly targeted and attacked [on] social media for a decision he had no part in,” AMC wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Melissa McBride decided she could not participate in the series because relocating to Europe became logistically untenable for her. It is inappropriate to direct negativity and anger at another cast member for a disappointing outcome he had nothing to do with.”
The network continued, “Carol is a beloved & vital character and we are working to find a way for fans to again follow her story, as only Melissa could give life to, in the expanding universe around The Walking Dead. The fans have always been the driving force behind #TWDFamily and always will be.”
It was recently reported that McBride would no longer be appearing in a planned Walking Dead spinoff meant to focus on her character, Carol Peletier, and Reedus’s Daryl Dixon, characters the two have portrayed on the original series for 11 seasons. At the time, it was reported that McBride’s departure was the result of creative decisions.
McBride’s departure led to significant backlash from fans of The Walking Dead, with many directing their disappointment towards Reedus, with many believing rumors that the actor was personally responsible for her stepping away. Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who portrays Neegan in the series, came to Reedus’ defense as well and admonished fans on social media for their “toxic” response to the news.
“Nobody more gutted at Melissa’s decision than [Norman],” Morgan said. “Rumors aren’t from crew. They’re from some asshat who’s never seen a set before. I was there. It was hard on both of them because they do love each other. Y’all make assumptions that are really hurtful. Stop it.”
Based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, published by Image Comics, the eleventh and final season of The Walking Dead is airing now on AMC. The series inspired several spinoffs, including Fear the Walking Dead, which premiered in 2015 and is now in its seventh season, and a spinoff starring Negan Smith and Lauren Cohan’s Maggie titled Isle of the Dead. An anthology series called Tales From the Walking Dead is also in development as well.
The Walking Dead is available to stream on AMC+.