As if fighting off zombies wasn't hard enough, one of the stars of AMC's hit series The Walking Dead has been dealing with swarms of the show's hostile fans, but this isn't just some playful online teasing.
Josh McDermitt, who plays Eugene on the show, abruptly shut down his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts following a number of bizarre online threats.
Fans are apparently upset because (spoiler alert) McDermitt's character has been up to no good this season. But some of the actor's followers don't seem to realize the difference between fantasy and reality.
When McDermitt's character betrayed the rest of the cast this season, the actor was swamped with angry messages and threats against his life. McDermitt also says he's sick of the way his co-star Alanna Masterson is body-shamed by the show's fans.
“It’s very frustrating, the Internet, because people feel they have a platform to just say whatever the hell they want and it can be anonymous because you can say the most racist, vile, stupid crap and hide behind [their screen name]," he told The Huffington Post.
In a Facebook Live video posted before he deleted his accounts, McDermitt warned fans that "when you start saying 'I hope you die,' I don't know if you're talking about Josh or Eugene."
Warning: this video contains strong language.
STOP SENDING ACTORS HATE FOR THE CHARACTERS THEY PLAY!!! pic.twitter.com/y8v9vI6twT— ㅤ (@neganwtf) May 2, 2017
It's easy to tell from the number of popular baby names the show has spawned that The Walking Dead is something fans takes very seriously, but there's no excuse for harassing an actor because of who they play on TV.
Hopefully McDermitt's decision to quit the internet will send a message to hateful trolls that this behavior isn't tolerated anymore.
The Walking Dead's 8th season starts later this year, and hopefully fans will be more respectful by then.