‘Walking Dead’ Star’s Father Blasts AMC for ‘Firing’ His Son
The Walking Dead has seen its share of bitter exits, but rarely do the parents get involved. Such appears to be the case with Sunday’s game-changing character death, as the actor’s father tore into the network on social media, claiming “I never trusted Gimple or AMC.”
You’re warned of full spoilers for Sunday’s mid-Season 8 finale from here on out, but Chandler Riggs was confirmed to leave The Walking Dead after “How It’s Gotta Be” revealed the character suffered a zombie bite. Various exit interviews made clear that Riggs would be back for one episode in 2018, as well that he’d taken his departure from the series in stride, but the same can’t be said of his father, William Riggs. A now-deleted Facebook post reveals the exit was slightly more contentious than we thought:
Watching Gimple fire my son 2 weeks before his 18th birthday after telling him they wanted him for the next 3 years was disappointing … I never trusted Gimple or AMC but Chandler did. I know how much it hurt him. But we do absolutely know how lucky we have been to be a part of it all and appreciate all the love from fans all these years!
For context, the comic Carl Grimes is widely seen as a secondary main character, and unlikely to die before the end of the series. Riggs, however, has been with the AMC adaptation since age 11, and was bound to reduce his workload in favor of school at some point. Few thought the character would actually die, even if Riggs departed the series. The actor confirmed with his own interview that the exit wasn’t his idea, but seemed nowhere near as outraged as his father:
Leaving Walking Dead wasn’t my decision. I was planning on going to college until I found out. I found out when I was doing rehearsals for episode six back in June. It was quite the shocker for me, Andy and everyone because I don’t think anyone saw it coming. It’s definitely not a bad thing because it has been awesome being on the show but now I get to go and do a lot of other stuff that I haven’t gotten to do before.
This is far from the series’ first controversial exit. Former showrunner Frank Darabont and several others continue litigating with AMC over profit-sharing, while several stars have spoken out against their own character demises. The series does not yet have a Season 9 renewal locked down, and some have speculated that the show’s current iteration may be retooled in the long term.
We’ll see if Riggs or AMC clarify their positions on the matter, but was The Walking Dead wrong to kill off Carl?
Gallery: The Worst ‘Walking Dead’ Death Scenes, Ranked