SPOILERS for The Walking Dead's Season 7 premiere below... if somehow you haven't seen it or heard about it.
The Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead immediately became a lightning rod for controversy last October, thanks to the very gruesome deaths of Glenn and Abraham at the hands of Negan and Lucille. Many fans of the series found it was too much, that offing these likable characters in such grisly fashion was the moment The Walking Dead finally went too far. Me, personally, I thought the brutality was necessary, but I absolutely understood the blowback. Zombie kills and side characters being torn apart are one thing, but these murders were absolutely merciless.
It would appear as though the cries of outrage did not fall upon deaf ears. The Walking Dead's executive producer Gale Anne Hurd said as much during a NATPE (National Association of Television Program Executives) press conference, noting that the negative feedback forced the team to reconsider how they portrayed violence on the show.
We were able to look at the feedback on the level of violence... We did tone it down for episodes we were still filming for later on in the season.”
While The Walking Dead is notorious for its startling bloodshed, Hurd wants to distance it from "torture porn."
This is not a show that is torture porn,” she said. After the response to the finale, she said they gave strong consideration to making sure “we don’t cross that line.”
Don't worry, gore fiends, I'm sure there will still be plenty of entrails and brain matter to play with going forward. But I'm guessing the next time a fan favorite gets their number called, it won't be as devastating as the demises of poor Glenn and Abraham.