If you were particularly pissed off about the Emmy’s giant spoilerfest segment then you’d best not read on. Over the course of five seasons The Walking Dead has been praised for its diversity when it comes to race or sexuality, a trait that’s been passed on to the series’ spinoff Fear The Walking Dead. But Walking Dead has been equally criticized for its blood laden path of black bodies, starting with Jacqui in season one who chose to die at the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.) Since then we’ve said goodbye to T-Dog, Bob, Tyreese, Noah— the last three all in one season—and others. Showrunner Scott M. Gimple is aware of this and is speaking on the subject. 

Gimple told Entertainment Weekly he actually knew who was going to die last year and in some cases knew before last year, long before some of those characters were even cast. “It was always about casting the best person. It’s very difficult,” said Gimple

He explained how the show strayed from the comic in one instance, as it has done in the past, by casting Lawrence Gillard as Bob, despite the character not being black in the comics. He said, 

“Bob wasn’t a black character in the comics, but I wouldn’t wanna miss out on Lawrence Gillard. And Noah, when we were casting him, Tyler [James Williams] was the best actor. I loved what he did and what he brought to the show. All sorts of people came in, from all sorts of different backgrounds and ethnicities. It’s tough because I also want to be sensitive to how people feel. Two of those characters were destined to die, and they could’ve been cast in any direction, and I just cast the best people — or at least the people I just felt were best and I loved what they did with the role. It’s weird to imagine not using them. But I did know those characters were dying, and I did cast those people.”

Gimple also showed his attention to diverse casting by saying, “It’s about representing the world that’s there.” 

All in all, Gimple seems sincerely apologetic. “It’s a very, very difficult issue, and I honor anybody who felt hurt. It’s very tricky,” said Gimple.

​Find out if Michonne, Morgan, and Sasha make it out alive from season six when The Walking Dead returns Oct. 11.

[via Entertainment Weekly]