After character’s unexpected death, “Walking Dead” fans start petition to fire showrunner

Norman Reedus, and from top left, Steven Yeun, Andrew Lincoln, Michael Cudlitz, Chad L. Coleman, Emily Kinney, Danai Gurira, Lauren Cohan, Melissa McBride and Chandler Riggs attend AMC's "The Walking Dead" autograph signing on Day 2 of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 25, 2014, in San Diego. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision for AMC/AP Images)

A disgruntled fan of AMC’s inexplicably popular zombie-drama series “The Walking Dead” has launched a campaign to have the program’s showrunner Scott Gimple fired in the wake of his decision to kill off one of the show’s main characters in the recent midseason finale.

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In Robert Kirkman’s long-running comic book series on which the show is based, the character of Carl Grimes is still alive and thriving. Carl, the young son of the show’s lead protagonist Rick Grimes, met his demise in a recent episode — a decision which angered a fan named Tyler Sigmon enough to create a petition at that asks that AMC fire Gimple.

Sigmon believes Gimple should be punished not only for his decision to kill off Carl, but also for the unfair treatment Chandler Riggs — the actor who plays Carl — had to endure.

“It was devastating for me and my family, because the show has been such a huge part of my life for so long,” Riggs recently told The Hollywood Reporter regarding his exit from the series. “For a few days, we didn’t know what to do … I decided that I wanted to not go to college for at least a year and move to L.A. and focus on acting and music. It ended up being a great thing, because now I get to do all kinds of other stuff that I haven’t been able to do in the last eight years.”

The decision also left Riggs’ father, William reeling.

“Watching Gimple fire my son 2 weeks before his 18th birthday after telling him they wanted him for the next 3 years was disappointing,” he wrote in a candid Facebook post. “I never trusted Gimple or AMC but Chandler did. I know how much it hurt him.”

The petition’s description is as follows:

Recently, Scott [Gimple] has decided to kill off the shows most pivotal character Carl Grimes, son of main character Rick Grimes. The entire show has been a lead up to showing Carl become the leader that his father is, maybe one day taking on the mantle himself. Actor Chandler Riggs even considered postponing his college education so he could work on the show after Gimple promised that he would be on the show for 3 more years. Chandlers dad, William Riggs, said in a facebook post, that was later pulled, that Gimple fired his son just 2 weeks before his 18th birthday even though he promised the actor 3 more years of working on the show. He goes on to say that he never trusted Gimple or AMC and that his son did, making it especially heartbreaking for him to be fired. Chandler has been working on the Walking Dead since 2010, spending almost half of his life on the show. Gimple gave no explination as to why Chandler was killed off other than that it was because of “the story,” and that it had nothing to do with personal issues but many speculate that the claim is false. Carl is still alive in the comic series and has gone on to play a pivitol role in every major conflict the group has faced. Some fans even speculated that he would do this in the TV show, being the last survivor in the apocalypse. A lot of fans have taken to social media to express their dissagreement with Gimples decision. Others have also expressed their feelings toward his decision calling for his immediate resignation. This petition is meant to bring AMC TV into the spotlight and fire The Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple for his actions and unfair treatment of actor Chandler Riggs.

As of this writing, Sigmon has amassed 45,700 signatures (with a goal of 50,000).

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