How Norman Reedus Feels About All The Walking Dead Criticism

norman reedus walking dead season 7 finale
(Image credit: Photo courtesy of AMC)

One might think that being on one of TV's most popular shows would be living the dream, but The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus knows just how often things can turn nightmarish. Sometimes the agony comes from how Scott Gimple & Co. decide to limit Daryl's freedom, and sometimes it's more of an outward issue, such as vocal members of the viewership who haven't been very happy about the show's direction and storyline. As you might imagine, Reedus has some choice words for those fans.

I think too many people are on the Internet. And everybody has a computer and everybody has an opinion. Which is fine. But you gotta stop. If you don't have too much violence, they go there's not enough violence. Too much violence, there's too much violence. You just have to tell the story sometimes.

Granted, Norman Reedus doesn't take a shit all over the fanbase like Ian McShane did with his blunt condemnation of Game of Thrones fans, as that just isn't in the genial actor's bag of tricks. But he's not against flat-out telling people to stop griping about The Walking Dead online, and at least he brings up specific examples that are legitimately frustrating to him, rather than just hollering out the cable TV equivalent of, "Hey, kids! Get off my yard!"

That said, the problem Norman Reedus is railing on -- the great debate over whether the show is too violent or not -- is one that viewers and critics have been wrestling with since the show's debut back in 2010, so that should be old hat by now for the veteran actor. I guess you can never truly get used to hearing people complain on a regular basis about something you do, since there are only so many ways thick skin can deflect such negativity. And this season definitely drew fresh ire over its on-screen violence thanks to the Season 7 premiere, in which Glenn's eye bulged out of his demolished skull while Abraham's headless body kept twitching involuntarily nearby. There was talk that the overabundant criticisms would cause the show's more brutal sequences to get watered down, but it's hard to tell if that happened when people are getting shanked through the throat.

During his short talk with The Dirty, Reedus did not bring up the specific rants that people have had with Season 7 in particular, namely the abundance of episodes that focused on limited characters and settings. To some, it's been a meandering and slow climb to one of the comic book's greatest arcs. (Personally, I've found much enjoyment with how the reaffirmed focus has allowed for character development, but everyone is different.) But I guess we can throw that in with him saying "You gotta stop." Perhaps The Walking Dead's crew should leave a small suggestion box just outside the set.

Get all the popcorn and pickle jars you can round up, because The Walking Dead will air its super-sized Season 7 finale on AMC on Sunday, April 2, at 9:00 p.m. ET. For an idea of what other shows will be debuting and seturning in the months following the cable drama's final minutes, head to our midseason premiere schedule and our summer TV schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.