Violence has been common practice on AMC's The Walking Dead since the show's earliest moments. When the Season 7 premiere rolled around, however, the subject went from being commonly accepted to controversial as Abraham and Glenn had their heads bashed in by Negan's bat.
In the aftermath of the in episode, The Walking Dead's ratings saw a slide in the wrong direction as conversations about the violence continued. First, Fat Joey actor Joshua Hoover revealed that his character's death was shot more violently than presented on television. Then, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd told a conference that the series was toning down the violence for episodes shot after the premiere. It all came to a head one showrunner Scott Gimple and executive producer Greg Nicotero firmly denied the original reports and stood by the show's violence.
Over the weekend, Nicotero weighed in on the topic aboard the Walker Stalker Cruise at a poolside panel.
"There were some discussions about the fact that we were toning the violence down on the show, which by the way when I did an interview and I went, 'F--- that! Why would we tone it down? It's a brutal world, our characters live in this world that's brutal, that's what it's about,'" Nicotero said. "What's the matter?"
Beside him, none other than Negan actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan who is an advocate of the show's violent demeanor. "Don't tone it down Greg, don't tone it down," Morgan said.
"Listen, I will tell you, being the person who sort of creates all the violence in the show, there is a specific vision for the show, and the fact that we live in this world that is horrific and brutal lends to what we're doing," Nicotero said.
Nicotero takes great pride in the violent visual effects constantly on display in the world of The Walking Dead. Having directed the premiere which has been the subject of many conversations as well as three upcoming episodes in the back half of Season 7, the VFX guru pours endless passion into his work. Many fans are likely standing with him in the inherent violence of The Walking Dead serving as an organic part of the story being told.
MORE WALKER STALKER CRUISE: Watch Chandler Riggs DJ The Silent Disco / Michael Cudlitz Reveals How He Learned Negan Would Kill Abraham / Katelyn Nacon Reveals Glenn's Impact On Enid / How Tom Payne Plans To Make Negan Look Stupid / The Epic Pet Daryl Dixon Might Have / Snow On The Walking Dead? / Daryl And Jesus Romance?
The Walking Dead returns for the rest of its seventh season on February 12 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Fear the Walking Dead's third season does not yet have a premiere date but with The Walking Dead finale set for April 2, expectations for Fear's return are set for April 9. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.