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Guys…”The Walking Dead” Producers Are Censoring the Violence

There’s nothing I hate more than censorship, and what’s even worse are those who fold to the pressure of a society that continues to censor itself. If you look hard enough, you’ll find people who can get angry at anything. Social media provides a platform for fans to kick and scream to get their way, but what if they’re wrong? It’s the duty of an artist – I consider the entertainment business an art form – to create content that’s authentic. What I mean by this is that, if a feature film needs to be rated “R”, it should be.  It’s a weird conflict of interest that the entertainment business is exactly that, a business. Because of this, there’s quite a bit of over thinking, manipulation, and fear that goes into the final product of most products. It’s a shame that AMC’s “The Walking Dead”, after a whopping seven seasons, is succumbing to fear and pressure from those who are probably the most casual of fans.

“The Walking Dead” producers confirmed that they toned down some of the violence in the first half of season seven after the strong viewer backlash to a gruesome killing scene in the season opener, Variety reports.

“Walking Dead” exec producer Gale Anne Hurd acknowledged Wednesday that the negative response to the bludgeon slayings of two key characters in the premiere prompted producers to make adjustments in episodes that were still in production at the time of the Oct. 23 season premiere.

“We were able to look at the feedback on the level of violence,” Hurd said during a panel session at the NATPE conference. “We did tone it down for episodes we were still filming for later on in the season.”

“This is not a show that is torture porn,” she added. After the response to the finale, she said they gave strong consideration to making sure “we don’t cross that line.”

Hurd spoke on a panel with AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan and “Fear the Walking Dead” star Colman Domingo.

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Sapan and Hurd also noted that the extreme reaction to the season premiere underscored how deeply fans care about the show.

“When something matters a lot and it has a universality, then you’re bothered by it and you care about it,” Sapan said.

Yes, there were “fans” that cared so much about “The Walking Dead” – a horror show – that they complained about the level of violence. That’s HILARIOUS to me. Yes, it’s a television show that has a massive audience (topping 10 million per week), I get that, but AMC is cable programming, and the reason Robert Kirkman’s comic was adapted there in the first place was to do and show things they couldn’t on a network like CBS or FOX.

Sure, it’s still plenty gory, but how, after several seasons, do you succumb to that kind of pressure and change a standard that’s been set over that period of time? Was it the massive decline in ratings they’re denying? Bloody readers know I’m not a fan of “The Walking Dead” series, but I celebrate its popularity and existence because it’s a gateway for the genre to take over the small screen. It’s a huge victory. But what kind of signal are the producers sending to other networks when they’re admitting that some violence is too much for general viewers? I hate being aware of the concern over the violence at AMC – especially knowing the direction their “Preacher” adaptation is heading. Should I expect that to be censored, too, so the general audience doesn’t bitch and moan on Twitter about the bloodshed? How is it 2017 and I feel like we’re going backwards?

What do you guys think? There’s still a ton of bloodshed, is this a moot point?

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COMMENTS

84 Comments
  • Vincent Kane

    I’m probably in the minority here, since this is a horror site, but I don’t get the ” if a feature film needs to be rated “R”, it should be” argument. I’ve read a ton of comments about movies needing to be “Rated R” or its automatically not any good. If the story and acting is good (talented) enough then you should be able to make a great movie/show without the “Rated R” stuff. I am not against gore, language, violence etc. but TWD didn’t suck this first half of the season because of a lack of gore. It was just boring. Gore would not have helped. Simply write better storylines and get away from the one story episodes. That was the reason for decline in ratings.

    I said all that to simply say this: Give us our gore back and don’t bend under casual fans pressure. TWD is a freight train and losing a few casual viewers isn’t going to hurt. They would find something to leave about any ways.

    • Storymark

      They’ve lost more than a few (more like millions), and more than just casual viewers, too (I had been a loyal fan since the premiere, and gave up this year along with my entire “viewing party” out of boredom – and more blood won’t bring me back if they can’t improve the writing).

      • Vincent Kane

        That’s my point. They didn’t lose the amount they lost because of seeing Abraham’s brains and having Glenn’s eye pop out. It was because of bad and boring writing. People who were turned off by gore on a horror zombie show weren’t true fans to begin with.

        • Dan

          Great point, am an avid fan, but man, the writing is just mediocre at best right now. The good thing is the problem is fixable.

    • I agree that horror doesn’t HAVE to be rated R to work. I think the argument in the post, however, is if a work is meant to be R it should not be watered down for mass appeal. If TWD did in fact intended certain scenes to be more graphic than presented, that is an issue. Once one of the biggest shows on TV caves to the whim of the “loudest” fans and not neccesarily the “biggest” it can cause a terrible ripple effect.

      • Vincent Kane

        I get what you are saying and I am a fan of the comics as well. I think only the hardcore fans would be upset at that point when it doesn’t match the original content. TWD should just do what they want to do and people will keep watching as long as its good of course.

    • Budda Man

      Agreed, the season sucked so bad I haven’t been able to finish 7 or 8, I even think I fell asleep during EP 6.

      • Vincent Kane

        It was pretty brutal this season. I’m one those more optimistic viewers and will give things a chance to play out but this first half was mind numbing to get through. It did have its moments of course. Hopefully things will pick up in the second half.

  • It could easily be a case of “let’s not and say we did”. I certainly didn’t notice anything that seemed toned down. The moment in question was one of the most graphic things not just on TV but any medium, so…I dunno. They need to focus more and story to save TWD’s ratings and less on whether they’re offending people.

    • SuperKilla

      I was thinking the same about them saying they did cut back but really didn’t. I thought the first half season was pretty violent with the iron on the face and the gutting of Spencer. Those pussies crying how bad Glenn got it were the same ones crying about Glenn escaping death so much. So they finally did it identical to the comics and then the backlash. I don’t get it.

    • zombie84_41

      They can easily do a great story and have the violence their too. But thats what has been turning me away. the stories are just nonsense and fillers. IDC about half the shit they be saying.

      • Yeah, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the show from the beginning. I’ve always had issues with it but find enough to like to keep coming back. This last season wasn’t worse IMO than some previous years. It just seems to be more of the same.

        • zombie84_41

          Yeah it is getting very repetitive. They need to spice things up but hey thats what happens when you been on the air for 7yrs dealing with zombies LOL. This doesn’t wanta become true blood.

          • Yeah True Blood’s quality tanked towards the end.

          • zombie84_41

            huge tanked. The last 2 seasons were garbage.

          • Hot garbage

          • zombie84_41

            Skinny smelly kind LOL.

    • Dan

      I guess, but why even bring it up then? I hope you’re right.

  • Geno1987

    I had to quit TWD half way through season 2. I just couldn’t take the derivative drama and lack of zombie action in a zombie themed series. I don’t care who is sleeping with who, and why characters are making stupid decisions. I just want to see mass carnage of zombies in large populated cities.

    • HipsterDoofus

      I still can’t find an understanding in people who jump into a thread just to comment that they stopped watching…5 YEARS AGO!!!
      Do people nudge into conversations to interject similarly in real life? Hysterically stupid.

      • WALKTER

        I had some corn pops this morning . . . I prefer them to corn flakes. Haven’t eaten corn flakes since 1998, I doubt I’ll ever goo back to the flakes on account of how bland they are compared to the pops.

      • Geno1987

        >Assuming I last watched it 5 years ago
        Wew lad

  • Storymark

    Responding to the audience isn’t censorship, ya doof.

  • Budda Man

    I do not agree that they have toned down anything. This is how the graphic novel was and they should stay true. It is a “graphic” novel for a reason. If people cant handle it then maybe they are watching the wrong type of show. This is the same thing I hear with SoA. Watch the show the way it was meant to be seen. Why do all these “care bears” always have to get their way? The show is going to “tone it down” and they will lose a lot more viewer than they have already lost.

    • dangerzone79

      But you wouldn’t know if anything was toned down because they changed the episodes they were filming to cater to a more non violent show. She said exactly that. So it’s really not a matter of your opinion, it HAS been toned down. But everything else you said I agree with.

  • Mamet006

    The actual creatives deciding to tone something down on their own accord is not the kind of ‘censorship’ that worries me.

    • Ash Housewares

      That’s a great point.

  • SpacemanSpliffz

    the only way to stop this is to mail the producers of twd and tell them this isn’t what you wanted. leave messages on their facebook page, their website, twitter and other forms of social media. they won’t ignore the needs of the many over the needs of the few. take back your show instead of bitching about it on bd

    • Colonel Ives

      <3 stopped watching season 4 though. but that's just because I haven't had time and didn't as it was aired then. but what I did enjoy and was actually surprised about… was the violence + gore. and the way shit is stable these days is the fact that people need to complain to the people that will actually get paid for listening, so I 100% agree

      • zombie84_41

        I still think 5 is the best season of this show it was brutal, sad, intense.

    • zombie84_41

      LOL thats not going to do jackshit either dude. We already bitch and moan it worked for a little bit but they still listen to the censor babies. WAH WAH WAH cry cry cry. Don’t watch the show then its not to hard. And the whole my child watched it and is scar for life is horse crap your kid is watching far worst and doing far worst believe me.

  • Yakushiji Tenzen

    Guess we won’t see some heads on spikes anytime soon then.

    • zombie84_41

      Or ever

  • Khy

    Well I just hope they know the violence isn’t why they’ve lost millions of viewers this season. The boring and bland drivel they call writing was the reason for that.

    • zombie84_41

      Seriously I love gore alot but the wrtiing is stupid. Like highschool stupidity.

  • That’s bush league!

  • chris hayes

    Fucken pussies WTF give me more violence NOT LESS….

    • zombie84_41

      I agree. Like I love gore alot. but I think gore is needed in walking dead. If it doesn’t get it off AMC put it else where. GOT is amazing in the gore level.

  • RedNeoCon

    Which would have been more effective?

    Having Negan say “fuck” on television or more violence?

    • Scott Baiowulfgang Amadeus

      After watching the uncensored takes of Negan on the season 6 on Blu-Ray, having him play the character as written in the comic is just utterly ridiculous. Instead of saying “I’m gonna beat the holy hell out of one of you.” He says “I’m going to be the fucking fuckity fuck out of one of you.” It carries on like that through the whole scene, I think he says fuck nearly 40 times. It got distracting quickly and added nothing at all to the scene.

      • The Fucked Up

        “Beat the holy hell outta one of you” sounds to me a hell of a lot more menacing than the whole “fuckity” rant. He delivered those lines, that whole monologue, absolutely perfectly, wouldn’t want it done any other way.

        • zombie84_41

          ya hes a great ass actor.

      • Also, why can’t AMC show swearing? Why are they so afraid of swearing and sex, but torture porn is fine!

    • zombie84_41

      i think it’s both. I think negan should get to say fuck at least a few times. And for the violence I think the show needs it. To me it add’s more heartack and pain. Like Glen’s scene. I just hope they up the ante though in the next half.

  • zombie84_41

    Makes me hate the show even more now. A bunch of pussies they aren’t for the fans. AT ALL! Just give the fans what they want or take the show off the air or take it off AMC and put it on FOX because basically thats what you are doing. It’s cool to have stories, and awesome characters, but even that is failing too. IDK I think this show is actually becoming it’s self.

  • Tiger Quinn

    Who the fuck wrote this, a ten year old? Yes, there really is an appropriate level of violence, for a genre, for a property, and for television. Your entire argument is that because its horror it should never be toned down? Okay.

  • Pc

    fuck Walking Dead. It’s dead…..kill off the producer and characters. They already killed the show.

  • Pc

    If you want to change this…stop watching it…stop supporting it.

  • Meisha’s Taint

    This is why people think AMC sucks dick. It looked like it was going to be an FX or an HBO or a channel for mature adults but now it’s turning into a CW. It’s nothing special again just like it was ten years ago

    Fuck off AMC stop censoring art I don’t support you anymore

    • It doesn’t sound like this had anything to do with AMC, but was a decision by the showrunners. Also, AMC is great. I haven’t seen any other complaints about it. Comparing AMC to the CW is like comparing it to Bravo – they’re both TV channels that produce some shows, and the similarities pretty much end there.

    • AMC are fine with extreme violence, it’s sex and swearing that they’re bothered about. No wonder America has a gun problem.

      • Meisha’s Taint

        America has a gun problem because corrupt Republican politicians take payoffs from the NRA and have convinced the weak and the ignorant that guns keep you safer when in fact it’s the opposite. It has nothing to do with television or movies I’m sick and tired of hearing that. Blaming TV does nothing. Blame the weak and the stupid who need guns like a baby needs a pacifier. It’s ain’t TV’s fault.

        • And the reason AMC won’t show sex or swearing? But violence is okay for all the family.

  • Horrible Day

    If they really cared about making the show what fans want then they’d focus more on making it actually entertaining not toning down the violence on a ZOMBIE TV SHOW THAT HARDLY EVEN HAS ZOMBIES ANYMORE

    • Dan

      If you follow the books, zombies are really an afterthought, a manageable threat.

      • Just one of the reasons people are sick of the show. People want zombie action, not human on human violence.

        • Saltoner

          The source material is about just that and not so much about Zombies. Walking Dead aren’t zombies, they’re the humans, because they are already dead!

          • Well, that’s the problem, people think it’s a zombie show.

  • Nahuel Benvenuto

    retarded and hipocritical

  • AriesSiren

    Complete bs. That was one of the most hard-core episodes ever and everyone was whining because the audience is trying to control the show. All this does is rip the creativity from the writers and they totally caved

    • MadCows

      I absolutely loved the episode. It was brutally fun.

    • They caved because the show ONLY exists to make money. Like all TV shows.

  • MadCows

    It is bad enough filmmakers have to censor there vision to achieve an “R” rating for a theatrical release, but purposely censoring your TV show just because a few babies are upset their favorite characters died in horrible ways? That is just stupid.

  • Jennifer Faith

    The rating systems for both film and TV are there for a reason – to warn people about the content. Walking Dead puts up an additional viewer discretion warning before each segment. That should be enough for the casual viewer. If you have a problem with gore, why are you watching a show about zombies in the first place? We have a real problem in this society that some people still can’t wrap their heads around: we are not being forced to watch things we don’the like. It’s far easier to turn the channel or walk away, and takes far less effort, than pitching a fit and whining to the producers to change something because big, important YOU have a problem with it. Meanwhile, the real fans, the ones faithfully tuning in every week because they love the work, feel let down or even betrayed because their opinions clearly mean less than thone of non-fans who aren’t happy unless they have something to complain about. It’s very disheartening and frustrating that this kind of thing is still an issue after thousands of years of artistic creation.

    • You’re missing the point. People have watched the show for six seasons and the Walking Dead was never that violent. Game of Thrones was never that violent. It was partly to do with the love we had for those characters, but also the lack of hope in that situation. The bleakness. With all the violence in the real world, people want escapism, not to watch brutality on that level. The show is / was about survival, not about human on human violence. It suddenly became torture porn, on the level of an Eli Roth film.

      • Saltoner

        All hail Cabin Fever and Hostel!

        • Two truly vile and terrible, terrible films. You hail them if you like. I’ll keep a wide berth.

  • Blaine Gaiser

    This is dumb….really? People got butt hurt that a show about zombies and what happens with civilization collapses got a little too violent? If you dont want to see it….DONT WATCH. But instead we have people who are “offended” by everything ruining things for everyone else…. Come on….ITS A SHOW ABOUT ZOMBIES AND THE COLLAPSE OF CIVILIZATION.

  • Dan

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Kirkman SLAM the Game of Thrones writer George Martin for caving to the HBO execs & not sticking to his guns? Hmmmm, hypocritical much Kirkman? If anything they should amp up the violence & pace, FULL STEAM AHEAD, not whimper down the back stretch. Very depressing…..

    • They only care about money and without the advertising (selling you crap you don’t need) there is no show.

  • BaronMarx

    Every tv show or film set in a post-apocalyptic world is already toned down. The collapse of society would involve a level of brutality that would make any horror title pale in comparison.

  • BaronMarx

    The people who will suffer the most from this are the brilliant special effects and make-up artists. These people have spent so much time studying the body and experimenting with materials to recreate it in various stages of disrepair. I get that gore can be off-putting to some, but when a talented artist makes you feel like you’re witnessing realistic violence they should be applauded for doing their job well. Instead, now they get muzzles.

  • The show went too far. It showed a man being beaten to death, until he had brain damage, while his sick pregnant wife looked on. It then revelled in that misery for the next hour. It was bleak, there was no hope, it was nihilistic. People have been brainwashed, extreme violence and gore isn’t normal. It’s celebrating the worst of humanity.

    The Walking Dead had seventeen million viewers, now it has ten million plus. That’s a drop of six milion viewers! The network only cares about advertising, because all shows exist to sell you crap that you don’t need. If the ratings keep going down the show will be cancelled. The show had seventeen million, plus several million watching later on catchup. The show now has ten million, plus the same amount watching later on catch up. So it HAS lost six million viewers. I’m almost grateful for the premiere because I stopped watching and now I’m free I have no desire to go back. It’s depressing, repetative and boring at this point.

    • Adam King

      The show went too far? What a joke I’ve seen far worst from other shows! Game of Thrones? Hannibal? Obviously someone hasn’t read the comics then..

      • Comics. No, I have a life. I have watched Game of Thrones, and the season 6 premiere of Walking Dead was way worse.

  • Darth_Siskel

    My wife thought it was too much too. But, it came more from the fact that it happened to such a beloved character, not the violence.
    BUT THATS THE POINT OF THE WALKING DEAD!!!
    That death & wasn’t done for the sake of it. It was done to make you fear & hate Negan.

    They’ve toned down the violence a lot in that show in comparison to the source material.
    That comic had infanticide, gang rape etc
    Now they wanna tone it down more?

    Hey, money talks. What do I know?

  • Saltoner

    Bunch of pussies!

  • Dennis Chenier

    They better be careful not to
    ostracize the real fans that built the show to what it is today, simply
    to appease the vocal minority. If people don’t know what to expect
    after SEVEN seasons then there’s a problem
    right there. This season’s premiere was brutal and sucked big time (in
    a good way), but I wouldn’t change a thing. The Walking Dead is and
    should be unapologetic horror. Take it or leave it. The brutality is
    not the cause of a sudden ratings decline either. Like any show in its
    seventh season, eventually you hit your peak and you can’t expect to
    remain a juggernaut forever. Look at American Idol as an example.
    Tinkering with what makes it work is dangerous and you risk causing
    further damage because of a couple crybabies, who in my opinion were
    never fans to begin with. Take care of the people who built the show and
    you’ll be fine. End of rant.

  • DBZEROGRAVITY

    well that was just a pussy move…

  • Fucking Pussies who hate gore

    You know whats funny. all the pussies that wanted the gory gone are probably not even gonna see this.

  • RJ

    So……did he died?

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