The Walking Dead brings a strain of savagery to our screens that we haven’t seen since the infamous era of Reservoir Dogs and A Clockwork Orange.
But FOX has landed in hot water after thousands of complaints were made to the media regulators, Ofcom, by audience members who thought the horror-turned-drama had taken the graphic violence beyond acceptable realms, reports The Sun.
In an episode aired recently on British television, Negan – the villain of the piece – murdered Abraham and Glenn by repeatedly crushing their skulls with a baseball bat, which he lovingly named Lucille.
Ofcom is taking the barrage of complaints seriously and have announced an investigation.
An Ofcom representative said:
We’re investigating scenes of very strong violence shortly after the 9pm watershed, and whether these scenes were justified by the context.
Despite deleting some of the more graphic scenes for a British audience – and reducing the number of baseball bat blows Negan delivered in the episode’s opening scene – FOX UK have acknowledged their willingness to adhere to the regulators investigation.
A FOX UK spokesperson said:
As Fox Networks Group is regulated by Ofcom, we have a duty of care to ensure all our programmes broadcast adhere to the parameters of the Ofcom Broadcasting code.
Michael Cudlitz, the actor who played Abraham before his untimely and brutal death, said:
We knew that was going to happen. In my opinion it’s very important that it had that kind of shift.
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.
I guess the end of the world as we know it – being overrun with hoards of zombies – would release someone’s dark side in the fight to survive.
Whether it was inappropriate or gratuitous will be decided by Ofcom.
Meanwhile, the image of Glenn’s eye is permanently seared into my mind.