When The Walking Dead buries one of its LGBTQ characters, a backlash seems to follow, though the uproar is unpredictable. In killing another LGBTQ character on Sunday night, showrunner Angela Kang stands by her choice and is proud of her series' representation.
Spoilers for The Walking Dead Episode 9x08 follow. Major spoilers!
While there hasn't been a tremendous uproar, outlets like VanityFair are citing the "Bury Your Gays" trope as part of the reason Jesus was killed (although Jesus actor Tim Payne expressed his interest in exiting) and some fans on social media are a bit disappointed to see an LGBTQ character bow out. Kang, however, is enthusiastic about the moment and satisfied with the actor and character.
"We're proud we had this wonderful character. He's one of my favorite characters from the comic books as well," Kang told THR. "For our writers who are LGBTQ, it's something that mattered to them as well. We have a lot of wonderful diversity and representation on the show, and that's something we're very proud of. For a show that deals with issues of life and death and people who have heroic and surprising ends, it's hard because almost anyone you kill on our show or write out is going to be part of some underrepresented group on TV. I wish all of TV would step up as well. We just tend to get a lot of attention for it."
As with any death on The Walking Dead, a thorough consideration and careful narrative structure is crafted far in advance and, as with Jesus, it began in the writing room. This time, they prepared for any sort of backlash which might come from it.
"We talk about all of that stuff," Kang said. "We have a very diverse room. It's hard. I'm Korean, and we wrote out our one Korean character [Steven Yeun's Glenn Rhee]. We still have multiple series regulars who are LGBTQ characters. It's hard, because we love representation. It's important to us, both in front of and behind the camera. We can't carry the entire load of representation for all of entertainment. We have to be able to tell our stories as well. It's part of the story, that everyone's impacted by these characters."
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET. Fear the Walking Dead will return for its fifth season in 2019. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter and watch ComicBook.com's After The Dead each Sunday night following new episodes.