AMC responds to backlash over Mazzara's Walking Dead exit

Is The Walking Dead allergic to showrunners? After Frank Darabont left in season two, his successor Glen Mazzara jumped ship the following year. His exit brought AMC under fire for not only him, but all their personnel. Now an AMC exec has fired back.

Over the past few years, AMC's bumped heads with producers from most of its shows. After Mazzara left, his peers Shawn Ryan and Kurt Sutter (whom he worked with on The Shield) took the network to task.

On WhoSay, Sutter wrote:

"AMC is run by small-minded, bottom-line thinkers who have no appreciation or gratitude for the effort of it's creative personnel. Time and time again we see events like what happened today with Glen Mazzara. They continue to disrespect writers, sh-t on their audience and bury their network... Showrunners are not development executives, we're not cookiecutter douchebags that you plug into a preexisting model. TWD will suffer."

Those are fighting words! AMC boss Josh Sapan is aware of the criticism but insists in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporterthe network isn't as bad as they say:

"We really do believe that people who make great TV shows have a rare capability, and we hold them in extraordinarily high regard. Certainly it would be preferable to have as much continuity as possible. We'll forge ahead and hope to make great shows and be the best place to work. We'll do the best we can to be an environment where the best creative people can flourish. We'll hopefully learn from everything we do."

He also reiterated that Mazzara's exit was a mutual decision, which was the network's line when the shakeup was first announced. Do you think there's more to the story?

The Walking Dead returns Sunday, Feb. 10, at 9 p.m. on AMC.

(via THR)

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