When Austin Amelio joined the cast of The Walking Dead during Season 6, he most likely never expected to get death threats from fans of the show. His character, Dwight, was a villainous member of the Saviors who initially had some run-ins with several members of Rick’s group in Alexandria. At the end of Season 7, Dwight switched sides and started helping the show’s heroes. Before that, he was easily one of the most hated characters on the show, so it's not too difficult to see why fans wouldn't like Dwight.
In a recent interview, Amelio described what it was like to be a villain on #TheWalkingDead and revealed some shocking interactions that he has had with fans because of playing Dwight. While it’s normal for fans to dislike the antagonist of a show, some fans apparently took their hatred to the next level, with one person even threatening to burn down Amelio's house because of what Dwight — a fictional character — did on the show.
'The Walking Dead' Fans Seriously Threatened Amelio
Dwight has done some appalling things on The Walking Dead. For example, he once shot fan-favorite character #DarylDixon and he also killed Alexandria’s doctor Denise by shooting her in the eye with Daryl’s crossbow. While these are terrible things, they were done in a fictional world but a fictional character. Sadly, some fans apparently couldn’t recognize that. They seemingly held Amelio accountable for Dwight’s actions which is, to be frank, completely unrealistic.
In a recent interview with TV Guide, Amelio revealed some of the bad interactions he's had with fans which mainly stemmed from his on-screen rivalry with Norman Reedus’ character, Daryl:
"When I shot Daryl, people were like 'I'm gonna burn your house down.' So, I've had that sort of stuff. And I think it’s hard for fans to distinguish the difference from myself and Dwight. [Fans ask] 'Are you Dwight?' I’m like, no, I’m Austin, I’m nice; Dwight’s a dick.”
Amelio also commented that he knew his character was going to get some hate from the beginning. But even with the extremely negative fans, he still loves working on the show and admires the passion people have for The Walking Dead:
“I came into this whole show and just popped out behind trees for the first couple episodes, just shooting people and being an asshole. I knew it wasn’t gonna turn out good. [Laughs] But I love it, there’s nothing like it. The fans with this show are unbelievable, man. They’re so cool and nice and if I do see people on the street, it's always just like, 'Hey, love your work,' and I like that they’re passionate about it. It makes the show what it is."
The fan reaction to Dwight’s feud with Daryl was awful and it's certainly troubling to hear that they took things a little too far, blurring the line between reality and fiction to a scary effect. Hopefully the threats against Amelio based on the actions of a fictional character have died down since then.
The Walking Dead Season 8 promos promised that all-out war is coming, and based on the season premiere, it looks like Dwight will play a huge part in the war to come.
Sound off! What do you think about the threats The Walking Dead fans made towards Austin Amelio? Let your voice be heard in the comments section below.
[Source: TV Guide]