The Walking Dead has never been a show for the faint of heart, but even its stars know how far to take things on the apocalyptic zombie drama. One of the show’s former cast members is speaking out over those key death scenes exceeding those limits. Michael Cudlitz’s Abraham was killed off The Walking Dead during the series’ highly controversial Season 7 premiere.
During the seventh season opener, a depraved Negan brutally murdered Abraham and Steven Yeun’s Glenn with a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire. Moving gestures aside, ever since the episode aired, there has been controversy over the violence of the death scenes. For Michael Cudlitz, The Walking Dead walked over a fine line with the sequences, telling Talk Dead to Me:
I always think it was a bridge too far, personally. I thought it was too much. Either one of us should have lived a little bit longer because I think it was people were very affected by it. They said, ‘Oh, my gosh, it was the most graphic brutal deaths. It was murder porn.’ All this stuff.
Michael Cudlitz has an alternative to the move The Walking Dead made, and that would have been not to kill Abraham and Glenn with so little time between. Cudlitz suggests that killing both fan-favorites in such a short span went over the line. In the years since that deadly Season 7 premiere, the actors have moved on, and seemingly so has a large part of the fanbase. Ratings have not been what they once were.
Since his and Steven Yeun’s exits from The Walking Dead, Michael Cudlitz has continued to weigh in on the franchise, including Easter egg activity, and that is not all. Cudlitz has also not been shy about voicing his opinion on that Rick/Negan/Saviors storyline. When it comes to one of The Walking Dead’s most controversial moments in that double homicide, Cudlitz believes it was twice the trauma for viewers, saying:
The fact that I think you loved Abraham and Glenn so much as an audience, that’s what makes it more brutal, and you sort of think, ‘Oh, ok. Oh, my gosh. It was Abraham. We’re sad that it was Abraham, but thank God it wasn’t Glenn.’ And, ‘OK. Oh, my gosh. OK.’ And, ‘Oh, my God. It’s Glenn, too! What are you doing to me?’ I think it’s the one-two punch that was maybe a little too much.
Michael Cudlitz thinks the double whammy proved too much for some fans of The Walking Dead, and Cudlitz does not blame them. One death of a fan-favorite can be a lot for viewers to process. Two characters within a single season would have still been a huge ordeal, but two in one episode?
That is a lot. Michael Cudlitz has also said that Abraham could have beat Negan. For now, fans of the show will have to live with the fantasy of such a confrontation and a successful outcome for Abraham. As for one of The Walking Dead’s most infamous moments, which started the season, Cudlitz said:
I think you want to start the season with a little bit more of a hug than a punch to the face or throat.
I have to agree with Michael Cudlitz. After all, getting socked in the face or throat is never a great vibe. All of that said, fans of The Walking Dead are used to gruesome twists, and believe it or not, the series has shown some restraint in the past. The initial plan for Beth was even worse than what ultimately happened to her!
The much-anticipated (and delayed) Season 10 finale installment is expected to air later this year. Stay tuned to see if it joins this fall’s premieres. To watch Michael Cudlitz in past episodes (including that one with the rubber machete), you can check out previous seasons of the zombie drama on Netflix, along with lots of newly arriving 2020 content.