The Walking Dead season 7 violence was "toned down" after audience backlash to the premiere

If you’re still recovering from The Walking Dead season 7 premiere, you’re not alone; turns out a strong backlash to the show's gruesome violence has seen subsequent episodes toned down.

At a panel session at the NATPE conference (via Variety), executive producer Gale Anne Hurd admitted the negative response affected the production team, prompting a rethink about storylines still in production at the time of the premiere to ensure the show didn’t “cross that line”.

“We were able to look at the feedback on the level of violence,” Hurd said. “We did tone it down for episodes we were still filming for later on in the season.”

“This is not a show that is torture porn.”

AMC Networks president-CEO Josh Sapan, who joined Hurd on the panel, acknowledged that extreme fan reactions to the premiere’s brutality were a reminder of how much fans care about the cast and characters. “When something matters a lot and it has a universality, then you’re bothered by it and you care about it," he said. 

It’s been some time since we’ve encountered a TV villain quite as evil as The Walking Dead’s Negan. There's a side to this character that AMC hasn't shown you though, and it might surprise you - here’s everything we know about Negan so far.

The Walking Dead returns on AMC on February 12.

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Images: AMC 

Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.