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Gimple Explains that the Story Drives Deaths, Not Skin Color


The Walking Dead has received ongoing criticism for killing off black characters. The criticism was notable in Season 3, when T-D0g (IronE Singleton) died sacrificing himself for Carol, and a couple of other black prisoners also met their fate. In Season 5, the grumblings rose to the surface again when three notable black men, Bob (Lawrence Gilliard), Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman), and Noah (Tyler James Williams), all met grisly deaths.

I have been wondering for some time if the criticism would be addressed. Entertainment Weekly recently asked showrunner, Scott M. Gimple, the question directly.

Gimple adamantly emphasized that the color of a character’s skin has nothing to do with their survival on the show. Said Gimple, “You know, I was aware of who was going to die last year. Even before last year for some of those characters. And at the beginning of the year, some of those characters weren’t cast. It was always about casting the best person. It’s very difficult.” As examples, Gimple pointed out how Bob was a white character in the comics, but he would not have wanted to pass up on Gilliard’s talent, and how Williams was simply the actor who best fit the part of Noah when he auditioned. Of Williams’ casting, he went on to say, “All sorts of people came in, from all sorts of different backgrounds and ethnicities.”

Finally, the showrunner concluded, “I just cast the best people — or at least the people I just felt were best and I loved what they did with the role. It’s weird to imagine not using them. But I did know those characters were dying, and I did cast those people.”

I always felt the reasons for all of the deaths, at least of the main characters on the show served the story and were appropriate. After all, almost everyone dies! What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Brandy Elliott