‘TWD’ Star Jeffrey Dean Morgan Defends Norman Reedus Against ‘Toxic’ Fans

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Norman Reedus in The Walking Dead
Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Jeffrey Dean Morgan has come to the defense of his The Walking Dead co-star Norman Reedus after some fans blamed him for Melissa McBride‘s departure from the upcoming Carol-Daryl spinoff.

“Some of you have gone WAY too far,” Morgan tweeted late Thursday night. “Attacking Norm for crap he has NOTHING to do with? Melissa made a call that was hers alone. She wants/needs a break. Respect that. Factors involved that are nobody’s business. Norm, who’s given more than anyone to you all.”

As reported by TVLine earlier this week, the upcoming spinoff will now be restructured as a show just about Daryl, with McBride no longer part of the cast. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, an AMC spokesperson said the decision was partly a logistical one, as the show relocating to Europe “became logistically untenable for Melissa at this time.”

“Melissa McBride has given life to one of the most interesting, real, human and popular characters in The Walking Dead Universe,” the AMC rep said. “Unfortunately, she is no longer able to participate in the previously announced spinoff focused on the Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier characters, which will be set and filmed in Europe this summer and premiere next year.”

The statement continued: “We know fans will be disappointed by this news, but The Walking Dead Universe continues to grow and expand in interesting ways and we very much hope to see Carol again in the near future.”

Some fans reacted badly to the news and took their anger out on Reedus. “I hope Melissa McBride has real friends in her life because Norman Reedus proved he’s not one of them when he took THEIR spin-off away from her,” wrote one viewer.

“Y’all can stop calling it a Melissa McBride exit for one. That’s not what an exit is. She still wanted this and was put in a situation where it was impossible. Then told it would go on without her. It’s a force out. Call it what it is,” added another commenter.

The Daryl series is one of many Walking Dead spinoffs in the works, including a show set in post-apocalyptic Manhattan following Lauren Cohan‘s Maggie and Morgan’s Negan, and the anthology series Tales of the Walking Dead.