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.
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?