Abraham actor defends season seven's premiere episode

The Walking Dead actor Michael Cudlitz has defended violence depicted in the seventh season’s premiere episode.

Spoiler alert: The first episode of season seven saw Abraham and Glenn bludgeoned to death by Negan’s barbed wire baseball bat.

Cudlitz, who plays Abraham on the show, has responded to anger from the conservative American watchdog group Parents Television Council over the first episode’s brutality. He told Digital Spy: “We knew that was going to happen.”

“We always knew that we were in a dangerous world, as far as the Walkers and the uncertainty of what was going on. But I think that the uncertainty now has been raised even higher.”

Cudlitz stressed that the violence was part of a “whole reset for the show”, where “You literally have someone who will kill you for looking at them the wrong way. That’s literally driven home, and everybody had to be beaten down, because we had gotten cocky in some ways because we had never lost.”

Cudlitz’s views reflect those of executive producer Greg Nicotero, who also directed the first episode. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Nicotero stressed his desire to “capture” the “horrifically graphic, senseless and brutal” moments from the graphic novel of the same name’s 100th issue.

The Parents Television Council president Tim Winter told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview last week that The Walking Dead had “resorted to the graphic violence as a crutch.” He slammed the show for replacing earlier seasons’ “better storytelling” with “graphic depiction”.

“It’s not enough to ‘change the channel,’” he continued. “Cable subscribers… are still forced to subsidise violent content.”