Jeffrey Dean Morgan Calls Out Toxic ‘Walking Dead’ Fans After Melissa McBride Exits Spinoff

Jeffrey Dean Morgan took to social media to say that some “The Walking Dead” fans have “gone way too far” with toxic outrage over the news that Melissa McBride will no longer star in the planned Carol-Daryl spinoff with Norman Reedus. McBride’s exit was announced April 27. The actor has played Carol since the first season of AMC’s flagship zombie drama. McBride exited the spinoff because relocating to Europe to shoot the series proved “logistically untenable” for her, AMC said in a statement.

“Some of you have gone WAY too far,” Morgan wrote on Twitter. “TOXIC. Attacking [Norman Reedus] 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.”

Fans have speculated on social media that Reedus was behind the decision to shoot the spinoff series in Europe, thus indirectly causing McBride to drop out of the show. But as Morgan told fans, “Norman had nothing to do with picking location. That decision is all about story, ideas… MONEY. That’s 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.”

The Carol-Daryl spinoff was originally announced in September 2020 with McBride and Reedus headlining. The spinoff will now focus solely on Daryl. Morgan has starred as Negan on “The Walking Dead” for several seasons and is getting his own spinoff with co-star Lauren Cohen.

“Melissa McBride has given life to one of the most interesting, real, human and popular characters in ‘The Walking Dead’ Universe,” AMC said in a statement announcing McBride’s exit. “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.”

“The Walking Dead” is currently on a hiatus from airing its 11th and final season. The final batch of episodes will debut on AMC this fall.

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