Chandler Riggs' Dad's Reaction To Carl's Death On 'The Walking Dead' Is Venomous
In the Season 8 episode "How It's Gotta Be," AMC took a knife to viewers' hearts as fans discovered that Carl Grimes is going to die. The kid with the eyepatch revealed that he'd been bitten in the torso. While you might think you're the most pissed about this news, this probably isn't the case. Because actor Chandler Riggs' dad is angry about him being fired from The Walking Dead and took to Facebook to share his feelings about how his son was treated by showrunner Scott M. Gimple. He didn't mince his words. (Bustle has reached out to AMC and Gimple for comment but did not receive an immediate response.)
The Hollywood Reporter quoted Gimple's post (which seems to have been deleted since then) as saying:
"Watching Gimple fire my son 2 weeks before his 18th birthday after telling him they wanted him for the next 3 years was disappointing. I never trusted Gimple or AMC, but Chandler did. I know how much it hurt him. But we do absolutely know how lucky we have been to be a part of it all and appreciate all the love from fans all these years!"
His irritated reaction makes sense — it's hard to imagine any proud father taking the news well, especially since, as Vanity Fair has already observed, Carl Grimes is alive and well in the comic book version of The Walking Dead, making the decision feel more personal than it may have otherwise.
The actor himself also sounded disappointed, clarifying that he had not left the show to attend college. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Riggs argued that the decision to leave the show was not his own. However, he did stress that his exit from the show was related to the story. That didn't mean it didn't hurt though. He called it "devastating for me and my family because the show has been such a huge part of my life for so long" but he found one silver lining in being fired, deciding to move to Los Angeles to pursue acting and music. This is something he now argues has been "a great thing because now I get to do all kinds of other stuff that I haven't been able to do in the last eight years."
Gimple also claimed it was related to the story arc while on the post-show Talking Dead segment, in which he said "That is a bite on his side.… It will play out as bites play out on the show." He continued, "It's very important to Carl's story and the entire story, what happens in the next episode. I'm just focused on the fact that Carl right now is alive and he has some business to attend to."
Fans are also devastated by the character's imminent exit. Some speculated that the decision to cut him from the show could be related to the former child actor becoming an adult and as such, falling into an adult pay bracket. Others sounded even more melancholic about the decision than the actor's own father, with Twitter user @w_yany responding to Carl Grimes' death scene with the following: "This was the moment my heart broke and every damn emotion you could ever feel flooded in, before leaving me. I now remain, with not even a flicker of humanity left."
Ultimately, only time will tell if Carl's death made sense — if Gimple uses the loss to craft a whole new journey, then theoretically, Carl won't have died for naught. All the same, the loss of one of the show's original cast members, someone who's been there for eight seasons, has got to sting. Honestly — it's hard to blame the actor's dad for his reaction.