Last night brought the midseason finale of “The Walking Dead” on AMC, and if you haven’t watched the episode yet, don’t read any further, because we’ll discuss a huge spoiler from last night’s episode. However, there’s a chance that even if you haven’t seen the episode yet, it may have already been spoiled for you by AMC itself, and that’s just unacceptable.
Towards the end of the episode entitled “Coda,” estranged series regular Beth (Emily Kinney) met a grisly end as she was shot point blank in the head by Officer Dawn Lerner (Christine Woods) after she stabbed the police woman in the chest with a pair of surgical scissors. This was a major character death, especially considering her rescue was the driving force of much of the activity in the past few episodes. It’s something you wouldn’t want spoiled.
However, AMC didn’t seem to care as barely minutes after this death occurred, the official Twitter account of “The Walking Dead” posted this not-so-subtle update for everyone to see and retweet:
— The Walking Dead AMC (@WalkingDead_AMC) December 1, 2014
You might be thinking that this isn’t a very big deal because that account consistently live tweets new episodes, so anyone who doesn’t want to pay attention should know not to follow by now. But at the exact same time, the network also posted that same above image to the show’s Facebook page. This is not something a cable network should be doing with one of its most popular shows.
The biggest problem with this careless and irresponsible move by AMC is that the midseason finale hadn’t even aired on the west coast yet. There was still one hour left before the episode even began. Many fans weren’t happy, as one of the top comments on the Facebook post in question says, “Um wow. West Coast hasn’t watched yet. Ya could’ve waited,” and at the time of this writing has nearly 26,000 likes (which is nearly just as many people who have retweeted this spoiler on Twitter). There are dozens more similar comments on Facebook with thousands of likes as well.
Some of you out there might be of the mindset to tell people to just steer clear of social media until they watch the episode, and beside the fact that’s a somewhat unreasonable request in an age where social media is so prominent in our lives (that’s why AMC has pages for the show on Twitter and Facebook), that’s missing the point entirely.
The problem is that a network like AMC should have enough foresight and respect for a large percentage of their fans (and consumers of media in general) to not post one of the biggest deaths of the season mere minutes after it happens, thus not even giving the rest of the fans a reasonable amount of time to catch the episode themselves. It would be one thing if this was two days later or even the morning after, but fans who are at work, taking care of their kids or at family’s house away from the television (can you imagine?!) on a holiday weekend were essentially just regarded as unimportant, simply because they were watching live or didn’t live in Eastern or Central time zones.
In this age of social media, it’s hard enough avoiding spoilers from friends or prominent figures on Twitter and Facebook, but it shouldn’t be a concern of fans to have one of the most popular shows on television spoiled by the network airing the show not even one hour after it airs. Did you see HBO flaunting the cross bolt-riddled body of Robb Stark or the slit throat of Catelyn Stark just moments after the Red Wedding on “Game of Thrones” aired? Absolutely not.
So for the sake of your fans, AMC, please stop spoiling episodes of your most popular running series. Try to wait at least 12 hours before you go flaunting the death of a major character on social media. People who like and follow your social media accounts are already watching your show, so it doesn’t benefit you at all to post these spoilers immediately after they happen. These dead characters won’t come back from the bed and eat your flesh if you don’t post about them right away, but your fans certainly won’t be so forgiving.
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