‘The Walking Dead’ Star Ross Marquand Explains Why Diversity Is An Essential Part Of The Show

Ahead of the much anticipated Season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead, actor Ross Marquand has revealed why he thinks that diversity is such an important part of AMC’s hit show. Marquand, who plays Aaron in the post-apocalyptic horror television series, first joined the cast of The Walking Dead back in Season 5, where he became the first gay male character on the show. However, the series has always boasted a diverse and inclusive cast of characters, such as Steven Yeun’s Glenn or Lennie James’s Morgan. Even in its early seasons, The Walking Dead, which is, of course, based on Robert Kirkman’s comics of the same name, featured characters of various ethnicities. And Marquand believes that this diversity is one of the big reasons that make the show so great, as reported by Comic Book.

According to the 36-year-old actor, the diversity of the characters conveys the idea that the collective can band together to overcome any hurdles, regardless of their differences.

“No matter where you’re from, no matter what walk of life you come from, or whatever your background, your sexual orientation, we can all come together and find goodness in each other.”

Marquand further added that he was happy that the showrunners did not choose to change the sexuality of his character in the television adaptation. Like most characters in The Walking Dead, Aaron was taken straight out of the pages of Kirkman’s comic books. In the comics, Aaron is also a gay man and even ends up, spoiler alert, dating fan favorite Paul Monroe, better known as Jesus, who is played by Tom Payne in the TV show. Whether these two characters will also become a couple in the television series remains to be seen.

Ross Marquand and Tom Payne pose for the camera

What’s more, Marquand specifically singled out Kirkman for praise, saying that “Kirkman has done a really good job of including characters of all walks of life.”

“It’s a fair representation of how people are in the world. That every group is fully represented is very important to everyone on this show.”

Aaron and Rick stare at the approaching walkers

When asked whether the death of either Aaron or his boyfriend Eric, portrayed by Jordan Woods-Robinson, could cause a major backlash with fans of The Walking Dead, Marquand said that it was definitely possible. The actor also pointed out that the LGBT community would most likely be the ones to be most upset about either of these character’s deaths, especially in regards of the so-called “bury your gays” trope.

Of course, Aaron and Eric wouldn’t be the only gay couple in the show to have met an untimely demise. Alanna Masterson’s Tara lost two of her girlfriends in Season 4 and 6 respectively, namely Alisha and Denise.

Will you be watching the Season 8 premiere on Sunday, October 22?

[Featured Image by Jesse Grant/Getty Images]