Negan actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan calls out a section of “toxic” Walking Dead fans for their “shitty” treatment of Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl.
Fans of The Walking Dead were understandably upset that Melissa McBride wouldn’t be joining Norman Reedus in the forthcoming spinoff that was conceived as a vehicle for their characters, Carol and Daryl. A section of the fandom has leveled their anger at Reedus, blaming him for McBride leaving the project. Now, Negan actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan has waded into the fray, calling out “TOXIC” fans who’ve “gone WAY too far.”
Earlier this week, AMC announced that Melissa McBride wouldn’t be playing a role in the planned Daryl and Carol spinoff show. The relationship between the characters has long been a focus of the original show, so fans were looking forward to seeing more of it. And with McBride no longer part of the franchise, The Walking Dead has lost one of the two remaining cast members who were there at the beginning in season 1. Norman Reedus is the last one standing.
AMC’s statement on the matter says that McBride dropped out of the show because it was “logistically untenable” for her to film in Europe this summer. Some fans took this as their cue to turn on Norman Reedus, claiming that he had asked for the production to show to film in Europe so he could be closer to his family; he is married to German actress Diane Kruger.
As the atmosphere got heated, Jeffrey Dean Morgan offered his opinion on Twitter. “Norman had nothing to do with picking location,” he wrote. “That decision is all about story, ideas… MONEY. That’s studio/network. Not actors. We can say yes and do, or no, and not do… MAYBE. SOMETIMES. If we’re lucky and don’t have a contract yet. Rarely does actor have that power.”
The as-yet-untitled spin-off starring Norman Reedus will begin filming this summer for broadcast in 2023. Morgan, meanwhile, will star in his own spinoff alongside Lauren Cohen (Maggie): Isle of the Dead, which takes place in post-apocalyptic Manhattan, begins filming soon, and will also release next year. Meanwhile, the Walking Dead series finale will be air later this year on AMC.