Warning: Spoilers for The Walking Dead’s season 8 mid-season finale, “How It’s Gotta Be,” necessarily follow in this story.
As fans of The Walking Dead come to terms with the loss of a major character in last night’s season 8 mid-season finale, the internet has been abuzz with the usual rumor mill of theories and stories. But one in particular is hard to miss—the father of Chandler Riggs doesn’t seem at all pleased with the way his son has seemingly departed the AMC show.
William Riggs took to Facebook Sunday night after the episode aired to register his dissatisfaction. In one of the comments on his post, he described the departure of his son (who played Carl Grimes) as a “firing” and criticized both showrunner Scott Gimple and the network itself. You can see the post itself below.
“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!”
Obviously, we don’t know the personal matters of Riggs’ departure from the show, but we’re not sure this sentiment seems entirely fair, all the same. It doesn’t seem accurate to characterize any character killed off—on a show that eventually kills nearly every character, mind you—as being “fired,” for one, if their death is meant to serve the overall plot. Riggs, now 18 years old, has been a major cast member of the series ever since he was 10, and has undoubtedly benefited tremendously from a role that could have gone to any one of thousands of other potential child actors. It’s hard to read William Riggs’ post and not picture a parent who seems to think that the show still owes his son something more, despite having provided eight years of spotlight on one of the biggest shows in cable history.
Regardless, Riggs’ father seemed to realize that bitterness wasn’t a good look in another comment later on in the same thread, as he went on to wish the show well. He also said he would continue touring the country with his son, in the awkwardly named “Chandler Riggs’ Dad’s Zombie Roadtrip Riggs’ Tours & Autographs.”
“I hope the show keeps doing well!” he wrote. “I do plan to keep doing tours monthly. I actually cut back on tours only because I teach high school full-time again.”
Of course, the possibility does remain on some unlikely level that this is all one massive fake-out, and that Carl will survive the rest of season 8 and beyond. But we’re not holding our breaths.