“The Walking Dead” star Jeffrey Dean Morgan took to Twitter in the early morning hours on Friday to settle some of the misinformation burning through the “TWD” fandom after Wednesday’s news that Melissa McBride was leaving the upcoming spinoff. “Some of you have gone WAY too far,” he told fans in a series of tweets.
McBride and fellow original “TWD” cast member Norman Reedus were set to appear in a spinoff featuring their characters, Carol and Daryl, to debut in 2023 after “The Walking Dead” bows at the end of 2022. Social media erupted when news broke that McBride was no longer part of the project after production was moved from Georgia to Europe.
Without clarification from official AMC sources or the stars themselves, some fans started blaming Reedus for McBride’s departure, and that’s where Morgan felt the need to step in and attempt to clear things up.
Some of you have gone WAY too far. TOXIC. Attacking norm for crap he has NOTHING to do with? Melissa made a call that was hers alone. She wants/needs a break. Respect that. Factors involved that are nobody’s business. Norm, who’s given more than anyone to you all. Just SHITTY.
— Jeffrey Dean Morgan (@JDMorgan) April 29, 2022
“Some of you have gone WAY too far,” he wrote. “Attacking Norm for crap he has NOTHING to do with? Melissa made a call that was hers alone. She wants/needs a break. Respect that. Factors involved that are nobody’s business. Norm, who’s given more than anyone to you all. Just SHITTY.”
Jeffrey Dean Morgan Goes on “The Walking Dead” Offensive
When a fan asked about rumors from a crew member that Reedus was responsible for McBride’s ouster, Morgan shut down any tension between McBride and Reedus, who are very close friends in real life. “Nobody more gutted at Melissa’s decision than Norman. Rumors aren’t from crew. They’re from some asshat who’s never seen a set before,” he wrote. “I was there. It was hard on both of them because they do love each other. Y’all make assumptions that are really hurtful. Stop it.”
Morgan clarified that the decision to move production from the US to Europe was AMC’s decision alone. “Norman had nothing to do with picking location. That decision is all about story, ideas… MONEY. That’s a studio/network. Not actors. We can say yes and do, or no, and not do… MAYBE. SOMETIMES. If we’re lucky and don’t have contract yet. Rarely does actor have that power.”
Carol and Daryl Popular Among “The Walking Dead” Fans
Carol and Daryl are very popular characters among the TWD Family. Fans have shipped them since the first season when Daryl took it upon himself to find Carol’s missing daughter Sophia. The relationship that developed from their shared trauma inspired fans to think of them as a couple, and thus the term “Caryl” was born.
In 2018, AMC inked extended contracts with Reedus and McBride worth a reported $20 million for McBride and somewhere between $50 and $90 million for Reedus, who also stars in a motorcycle-focused travel series, “Ride with Norman Reedus.”
In real life, McBride and Reedus have always been close. McBride appeared on an episode of “Ride with Norman Reedus” and they’re often seen having fun behind the scenes on set and during appearances.
The sudden outpouring of anger toward Reedus for McBride’s departure was shocking and it clearly pushed Morgan to speak up when no one else was coming forward to clarify what led to McBride’s decision.
AMC Issued Statement on “The Walking Dead” Controversy
After the spinoff news broke, AMC released a statement offering more information about McBride’s departure:
“Melissa McBride has given life to one of the most interesting, real, human and popular characters in ‘The Walking Dead’ Universe. Unfortunately, she is no longer able to participate in the previously announced spin-off focused on the Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier characters, which will be set and filmed in Europe this summer and premiere next year. Relocating to Europe became logistically untenable for Melissa at this time. We know fans will be disappointed by this news, but ‘The Walking Dead’ Universe continues to grow and expand in interesting ways and we very much hope to see Carol again in the near future.”
Morgan’s tweets help to clarify the statement that AMC put out after the news broke, but questions still abound. Some fans are holding out for official word from McBride, Reedus, “The Walking Dead” showrunner Angela Kang, Chief Creative Officer Scott M. Gimple or AMC Networks. It’s a messy situation that only seems to be getting messier as time goes on.