AMC’s The Walking Dead is on its seventh season, which means viewers have had plenty of time to acclimate themselves to the show’s style. The specific dangers and motivations may shift from episode to episode, but you always know you’re probably going to see some abandoned structures, long and empty roads, sweaty people in dirty clothes, and buckets of disgusting, horrifying violence. Weirdly, though, the show’s producers seem to think that viewers have probably had their fill of that last bit.
According to a Variety report, Walking Dead executive producer Gale Anne Hurd explained that they “were able to look at the feedback on the level of violence” on the show, and they decided to “tone it down” for upcoming episodes. This all stems from the season premiere back in October, which featured Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s villainous Negan brutally murdering a pair of characters with his barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat.
It was certainly a violent episode, but The Walking Dead is a show where people get ripped apart by zombies weekly, where the characters gutted a corpse and draped themselves in its viscera in one of the first episodes, and where multiple children have been killed. Was seeing two characters smashed with a bat really so far over the line that the producers felt the need to dial back the violence? Well, Hurd says she wants to make it clear that The Walking Dead “is not a show that is torture porn,” so she wants to do what she can to avoid “[crossing] that line” in the future.