While infinitely insightful and full of great things that better the mind, the Internet can also be a dark and damaging place. That particular aspect was acknowledged by The Walking Dead star Josh McDermitt, who quit social media in early May due to fan backlash surrounding his character's storyline. McDermitt talks a little bit about why he decided it was best to step away from the web in the quote below:
I'm not really going to get into that too much. I just know that the Internet is just kind of [a] dark and negative place, which just kind of breeds that mentality and those sorts of thoughts. I think that if people go left unchecked, there's no consequences for what they say on the Internet. It's just unfortunate so, you know, it is what it is. Unfortunately, nothing's being done about it at this point.
It's sad things escalated to that point for Josh McDermitt, whom fans know as Eugene on The Walking Dead. When we reported last month that McDermitt quit social media, it was believed at the time that his deactivation was due to death threats he was receiving from fans of the show. McDermitt's interview with SolzyAtTheMovies appears to refer to the death threats, or other similarly serious statements, in addition to a bevy of further negative comments.
It's worth noting that Josh McDermitt said nothing specifically in regards to The Walking Dead or Eugene's role in all this. While it could be true that lots of people out there are inappropriately angry with his cameo role on Angie Tribeca, it's safe to speculate that a majority of the toxicity is coming from Walking Dead. Why Josh McDermitt won't get outright specific and confirm that's what it's about is unclear. It could be he's under some contract stipulation that prohibits him from making disparaging remarks about fans of the show, or it could just be something as simple as him not wanting to give attention to a small minority of trolls who don't deserve it.
In either case, it's sad to hear that the abuse got so bad that McDermitt felt it better to disconnect with his fans due to a few insanely bad eggs. It's crazy to think McDermitt gets that type of abuse for Eugene's recent alliance with Negan, considering his character is not nearly as bad as some of The Walking Dead's other unsavory characters from the past and present. (See: Negan.) For anyone hoping McDermitt's break from social media would only be temporary, it looks like he's in it for the long haul.
Hopefully, trolls will stop ruining fandom for the rest of us, and guys like Josh McDermitt will feel comfortable enough to open up channels to interact with fans yet again. The Walking Dead is set to return for Season 8 this fall, and the show has already promised some great things. Whittle down the months of waiting by picking up any of the new or returning shows on our summer premiere guide. If you've already picked your shows for the season, make sure you're aware of when they're ending by visiting our handy finale guide!