"Time and time again we see events like what happened with Glen Mazzara. They continue to disrespect writers [and] their audience."
We recently reported that The Walking Dead has come under fire from a parent’s group which claims the show’s TV-14 rating is too lenient. The show has also lost one of its key creative forces, showrunner Glen Mazzara.Of course, this isn't the first time The Walking Dead lost an important member of the team. You may recall Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption), was the original showrunner, and when he left Mazzara took his place. When Mazzara got his walking papers, there were a ton of official releases spinning furiously, but that didn’t stop others in the Twitter-sphere from venting about Mazzara getting the boot.
Kurt Sutter, who created the show Sons of Anarchy, and who’s never known to mince words, tweeted that the folks at AMC were "small-minded bottom-line thinkers who have no appreciation or gratitude for the effort of its creative personnel. Time and time again we see events like what happened with Glen Mazzara. They continue to disrespect writers, sh*t on their audience and bury their network."
Shawn Ryan, creator of Last Resort, tweeted, "Common knowledge that AMC cut Breaking Bad shorter than it should have been. Now you have creative differences w/ biggest hit’s [sic] savior?"
The Huffington Post was also concerned that the show could suffer without Mazzara. "Competent showrunners who can parachute in make the trains run on time are not a dime a dozen. But given the number of hungry writer / producers eager to make their mark on the industry, the new hires will keep on coming. Just like zombies, there are always more of them. But there’s no telling whether they’ll have brains."
Indeed, the timing isn’t great because Walking Dead got the greenlight for the fourth season, and as Entertainment Weekly feels, this new development "is bound to bewilder fans and more than a few in Hollywood. The Walking Dead hit series-high ratings this fall, beating all the broadcast network shows in the key adults 18-49 demo. This wouldn’t seem to be a wise time to change leadership."
Then again, as EW, points out, the show survived Darabont leaving, so maybe the changes behind the scenes, and the controversies over the show, are just going to be mere bumps in the undead road.