Uh-Oh, Did ‘The Walking Dead’ Purposefully Skip a Gay Storyline?
For as beloved or well-watched as any TV series gets, it's easy to wind up mired in controversy. 'The Walking Dead' hasn't courted much in the way of scandal (on-screen, anyway), but a recent exclusion of a storyline from the comics on which the TV series draws its base may have some believing it was an intentional slight. What character and storyline, present in this past Sunday's episode "Sick" has generated a bit of controversy?
Those who follow 'The Walking Dead' as we do know how much we like to compare even the most minute aspects of the AMC TV series to the comics from which the series derives. AMC has long seen their incarnation of 'The Walking Dead' to be its own animal, picking and choosing from the comic at will while creating original developments, but their latest adaptation isn't sitting well with some.
In particular, this past Sunday's "Sick" featured the introduction of five inmate survivors, one of whom Andrew (Markice Moore) served as a fairly direct adaptation of the comic character with the same name. However, one aspect of Andrew present in the books wasn't mentioned in the character's brief on-screen appearance. Fans of the comic will remember that Andrew was said to be in a homosexual relationship with fellow inmate Dexter, even if the added presence of women from Rick's group threw that into jeopardy.
AMC's interpretation of the character followed a similar path as his comic-counterpart, though Andrew's limited inclusion in the story prevented the series from going into much detail on what, if any relationship Andrew may have had with his fellow inmates. In terms of AMC's adaptation, "Dexter"s position in the story was largely filled by original character Tomas (Nick Gomez). The exclusion was particularly noted by LGBT blog Back2Stonewall, in which Will Kohler criticized the change in a blog post:
Considering the veritable United Nations of characters that have been seen on The Walking Dead over the past three seasons it's becoming a glaring omission and sad fact there has not been one LGBT character on this show up till now.
Invisibility on television is a major problem for the LGBT Community and both TV and movies need to learn that a characters sexuality is an aside, a trait like being left-handed or having blue eyes and should be presented and treated as such and not something to fear presenting.
LGBT viewers of The Walking Dead and television in general deserve much better. Better characters, better representation, and better advocating for such by concerned individuals and organizations.
Kohler does note his distaste for the two characters Andrew and Dexter and the manner in which their relationship was portrayed in the original Robert Kirkman comic, but would have still preferred that aspect of the character present in the TV series. While we respect Kohler's position, we certainly don't believe the slight was intentional, given the limited amount of time AMC portrayed the prison characters, compared with the slower-paced comic book issues. Even then, "Sick" presented no evidence that particular aspect of Andrew's character wasn't present, just not relevant to the story.
What do you think? Did 'The Walking Dead' make a mistake by ignoring an LBGT storyline? How are you finding the third season thus far?