Spoiler warning: This article contains major spoilers from The Walking Dead episode “How It’s Gotta Be.”
The Walking Dead is dealing with a major casting shakeup, and the father of one of the show’s longtime stars is not happy about it. On the heels of AMC’s confirmation that Carl Grimes will be killed off during February’s midseason premiere, the father of Chandler Riggs, the actor who plays the teen hero, lashed out at TWD showrunner Scott Gimple on social media.
Chandler Riggs’ father, William Riggs, revealed that he is “disappointed” in the Walking Dead showrunner’s decision to kill off his 18-year-old son from the AMC post-apocalyptic drama. In what is a drastic departure from the Walking Dead comic book series, Carl will die from a walker bite when the show returns in February. Riggs’ dad revealed he is unhappy with how Chandler’s exit from the series was handled.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, William Riggs took to Facebook to express his anger over the shocking move, telling fans his son was pretty much lied to regarding his character’s fate on the AMC series.
“Watching Gimple fire my son 2 weeks before his 18th birthday after telling him they wanted him for the next 3 years was disappointing,” Riggs wrote.
“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!”
Chandler Riggs, who started on the show when he was just 11-years-old, told the Hollywood Reporter he was shocked to learn of Carl’s demise during rehearsals last summer when Gimple called him and his parents into his office to discuss the impending storyline, which will mark the biggest death in the history of the AMC zombie series.
“Leaving Walking Dead wasn’t my decision,” Chandler told THR. “I found out when I was doing rehearsals for episode six back in June. It was quite the shocker for me.”
The blindsided Riggs has been so sure that his Walking Dead character was safe that he went ahead and recently purchased a house in Senoia, which is in close proximity to where the show films in Georgia.
Chandler Riggs recently graduated from high school and took a gap year from college to focus on his acting career. While he is now out of a job on The Walking Dead, the 18-year-old actor seems optimistic about his future. Chandler has landed a role in the upcoming indie crime thriller, Inherit the Viper.
“I’m shooting that in Birmingham,” Riggs told THR. “It’s low-budget but it’s fun getting to play this redneck lowlife character with a mullet. It’s something I haven’t done before. That’s what I’m excited about, this restart — to branch out and do other crazy roles that I’ve never gotten to do before.”
Here’s the shocking scene that changed the game for Chandler Riggs and Carl on The Walking Dead.