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'The Walking Dead' Cuts Homophobic Trolls on Social Media

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday January 28, 2021

Nico Tortorella in 'The Walking Dead: World Beyond' trailer
Nico Tortorella in 'The Walking Dead: World Beyond' trailer  (Source:'The Walking Dead' / YouTube)

"The Walking Dead" just took a proverbial hatchet to brain-eating homophobia, Yahoo! Entertainment reports.

In response to a small but vocal group of trolls decrying the inclusion of gay couples in "The Walking Dead: World Beyond," a spin-off which debuted in October, the hit franchise took to social media to respond: "If LBGTQ+ characters on television (or anywhere) make you uncomfortable or angry, please unfollow us. While we also encourage you to look within and be more accepting, know that there is no place in our fandom for hateful discrimination or willful ignorance."

"The Walking Dead: World Beyond" features gay characters Felix Carlucci (played by Nico Tortorella) and his boyfriend Will Campbell (portrayed by Broadway star Jelani Alladin). In fact, on Monday's "Talk Dead to Me" podcast, Alladin commended the franchise for their approach to LGBTQ inclusion in storylines, saying his and Tortorella's characters are "just two men who happened to be in love. There was no need to explain anything further. I love that 'The Walking Dead' is putting that forward: that LGBTQ relationships are nothing different than any other kind of relationship."

After the interview, a commenter on YouTube criticized: "I don't like how every character simply HAS TO HAVE A LOVE INTEREST. Oh we can't find a character for you, screw it you're gay with this guy. It's so fake just for added emotional drama."

On Twitter, the response has, by and large, been positive.

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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