Since they made the shocking decision to kill off Chandler Riggs’ Carl, The Walking Dead has been received backlash from all angles – including, it seems, their own cast, as Negan actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan has explained in an Instagram post that he’s “disappointed” with the way AMC handled the major character exit.
Riggs’ departure means a significant change in the comic’s source material, in which Carl and Negan have a complicated relationship that carries on through a notable time-jump in the story. It was this unusual relationship that was one of the reasons for Morgan agreed to take the role of Negan, and in a farewell post to Riggs, the actor spoke candidly about his disappointment in the decision to kill off Carl:
“Honestly… a huge reason I wanted so badly to join this band of misfits… was because I was such a fan of the Negan Carl relationship in the comics… that storyline was one of my favorites, as I know it was one of yours. I’ll forever be dissaponted [sic] we only scratched the surface of what could have been.”
Since this development in the story, fans have become concerned about what this means for Morgan’s role, which hasn’t been helped by the show’s producers only speaking cryptically about the future of the comic storylines in the absence of Carl’s character.
If The Walking Dead was looking to use Carl’s death as a shock to jump start the series back to life after seasons of diminished ratings, they have severely overshot it, as many fans are becoming increasingly frustrated by the slow, uncertain nature of the show as it stands now. With ratings taking a hit, and fears of certain cast members leaving for new projects, it remains to be seen how much longer The Walking Dead can continue treading water.
Read Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s full post below:
SPOILER (for the six people that are somehow in the dark… and get news from Instagram?) @chandlerriggs5 man…. what a pleasure. Not only getting to work with you… but, getting to know you. You, my friend, are an incredible young man. Well before joining this cast I was a fan… a fan that loved watching you grow up in front of a camera. From the moment you first put on the way too large sheriffs hat as a boy… to the end, the hat so befitting of the man Carl had become. Wiser and more compassionate than all of us. You held all of our hearts. Honestly… a huge reason I wanted so badly to join this band of misfits… was because I was such a fan of the Negan Carl relationship in the comics… that storyline was one of my favorites, as I know it was one of yours. I’ll forever be dissaponted we only scratched the surface of what could have been. BUT… I can take total solace in the fact that you are out there… doing your thing. You’ve grown into an amazing young man as well as a powerful actor… the world is your oyster Riggs. We all get to sit back and watch you kill it. So.. know you are missed on the show… but know you have a big ole group of family all here for you if needed… and eagerly awaiting whatever comes next. Love you Riggs. See you soon.