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Jeffrey Dean Morgan Calls Out ‘Toxic’ Fans for Criticizing ‘Walking Dead’ Spinoff Casting

Morgan clapped back at fans who speculated Norman Reedus was behind picking a European filming location that led to Melissa McBride's exit.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

“The Walking Dead”

Jace Downs/AMC

One “Walking Dead” character got the axe for an upcoming spin-off, and fans were quick to jump to conclusions over the cause of the cast switch-up. However, lead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan weighed in to clap back against assumptions.

“Some of you have gone WAY too far. TOXIC,” Morgan tweeted April 28.

AMC announced in September 2020 that a spin-off series starring Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride would follow their respective fan-favorite characters, Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier. Showrunner Angela Kang previously described the series as a “road show” for Carol and Daryl.

However, the network confirmed that actress McBride will be exiting the as-yet untitled series ahead of production in Europe.

“Relocating to Europe became logistically untenable for Melissa at this time,” the AMC spokesperson said, as reported by Entertainment Weekly.

Former co-star Morgan, who is leading another spin-off, “Isle of the Dead,” with Lauren Cohan set in New York City, responded via social media to claims that Reedus chose the European location to be closer to his family with German-American actress Diane Kruger.

“Attacking Norm [Reedus] for crap he has NOTHING to do with? Melissa made a call that was hers alone,” Morgan said. “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.”

Morgan added in a direct comment to a fan on Twitter, “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 Walking Dead” concludes its final season this year. A third AMC spin-off, titled “Tales of the Walking Dead,” is also in the works as an anthology series featuring new faces with returning franchise vets.

This year, AMC Networks are wrapping up three hit franchises, including “The Walking Dead,” “Killing Eve,” and “Better Call Saul.” While respective spin-offs have been announced, the shift from tentpole programming includes new series from existing IPs “Interview With a Vampire,” starring Eric Bogosian, and “Mayfair Witches,” led by Alexandra Daddario.

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