The cast and crew of The Walking Dead canceled their appearance at the Television Critics Association's press day in order to attend the funeral of stuntman John Bernecker, who died while filming the series last month. The Walking Dead creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman still attended the TCA event to promote his new series, Secret History of Comics, and he addressed the tragic incident.
When asked about the untimely death of Bernecker, Kirkman — rather than dodge the questions — shared his thoughts. Kirkman was brief, but he had this to say regarding Bernecker and the future of the AMC series:
"No storylines were changed, you know, that was a tragic accident. It wasn’t story related, it was just a freak accident that happened on set and it’s something that we’re dealing with, but it hasn’t affected the storyline in any way.
"It’s a tragedy, so it’s something that everyone is dealing with in their own way, and it’s something that will continue to stick with us for years to come."
In addition to Kirkman speaking out, AMC network president Charlie Collier spoke up and explained why showrunner Scott Gimple and other show producers were absent from the TCAs:
"Unfortunately, today is the funeral for stuntman John Bernecker and Scott Gimple and others are there. Of course our hearts and our thoughts continue to go out to John’s family and friends."
As Kirkman said, the tragedy of Bernecker's death will resonate with the cast and crew of The Walking Dead for a long time, but it has not halted nor delayed production on the show's eighth season. The Walking Dead Season will premiere as planned on October 22, 2017 on AMC.