Fans know to expect beloved characters to die on The Walking Dead, but this time the show might have gone too far for some. The recent midseason finale of the AMC zombie drama saw Carl Grimes revealed to be the victim of a walker’s bite – confirming that he’s on his way out when the series returns.
Carl is one of the few characters to have lasted the full length of The Walking Dead so far. More than that, though, his role has kept growing in the comics and many fans were looking forward to seeing Rick’s son follow suit in the TV show. The decision to kill off a character with so much potential, then, has been met with quite a bi of hostility in some quarters.
One fan has even been motivated to create an online petition calling for Carl to be reinstated to the series, while also asking for showrunner Scott Gimple to be fired. The petition’s creator, Tyler Sigmon, wrote the following:
“The entire show has been a lead up to showing Carl become the leader that his father is, maybe one day taking on the mantle himself. Actor Chandler Riggs even considered postponing his college education so he could work on the show after Gimple promised that he would be on the show for 3 more years.”
“Chandler’s dad, William Riggs, said in a Facebook post, that was later pulled, that Gimple fired his son just 2 weeks before his 18th birthday even though he promised the actor 3 more years of working on the show. He goes on to say that he never trusted Gimple or AMC and that his son did, making it especially heartbreaking for him to be fired. Chandler has been working on the Walking Dead since 2010, spending almost half of his life on the show. Gimple gave no explination [sic] as to why Chandler was killed off other than that it was because of ‘the story,’ and that it had nothing to do with personal issues but many speculate that the claim is false.”
Continuing on, he says:
“Carl is still alive in the comic series and has gone on to play a pivotal role in every major conflict the group has faced. Some fans even speculated that he would do this in the TV show, being the last survivor in the apocalypse. A lot of fans have taken to social media to express their disagreement with Gimple’s decision.
Others have also expressed their feelings toward his decision calling for his immediate resignation. This petition is meant to bring AMC TV into the spotlight and fire The Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple for his actions and unfair treatment of actor Chandler Riggs.”
While this is all based on news that’s emerged as of late, it’s worth remembering that we don’t know the full story behind the scenes. Riggs, for example, has seemed very good-natured about his character being written off and has immediately jumped into other projects, including a new movie role and his first steps into the music industry. As such, we don’t know for sure if Gimple really did treat the actor as unfairly as this post claims.
Regardless, many, many fans are agreeing with Sigmon’s statements. Originally, the petition was hoping to reach 35,000 signatures. After a week, though, it’s skyrocketed past that initial number, with the counter currently reading 52,600 at the time of writing. The new goal is to reach 75,000, which seems perfectly doable.
Of course, even if the petition hits six figures, it’s unlikely that AMC will actually do something as drastic as fire TWD‘s showrunner and scrap an ongoing storyline. However, it may have the effect of making the network more wary of killing off any other long-running characters in the near future.
The Walking Dead returns to our screens on February 25th, 2018.