The Walking Dead season seven premiere opened with the death of two fan-favorite characters at the hands of the sinister Negan. With both characters being bludgeoned to death in a sequence that left nothing to the imagination, fans were subjected to levels of graphic violence that a number of viewers argued was excessive even for the famously gruesome show. Speaking during a panel at the NATPE conference, executive producer Gale Ann Hurd and AMC Networks president-CEO Josh Sapan addressed the reaction to the brutal deaths on the series and confirmed that the violence in later episodes had been toned down in response.
Hurd explained that following the negative reaction to the graphic deaths in the season premiere, episodes that had been in production at the time scaled back on the violence moving forward.
“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.”
A number of fans argued that the level of violence in the premiere bordered on the line of gratuitous gore, a claim Hurd addressed. Variety reports:
“This is not a show that is torture porn,” she said. After the response to the finale, she said they gave strong consideration to making sure “we don’t cross that line.”
Sapan weighed in on the conversation, stating that the reactions confirmed just how much fans care about the series.
“When something matters a lot and it has a universality, then you’re bothered by it and you care about it.”
Now that it has been approximately three months since the premiere first aired, how do you feel about the level of violence in the premiere? Share your thoughts below!
The Walking Dead returns with new episodes on February 12, 2017 on AMC.