A week ago, I watched a collective gasp ripple across Twitter when real tragedy struck on The Walking Dead – when the impossible, the one thing that all of us insisted the show could never, ever, do did in fact happen.
And not just any death – it was a bloody, brutal, horrible demise.
Now, I don’t watch The Walking Dead personally. (I’m super-sensitive to violence and would probably end up with some gruesome zombie nightmares!) But a part of me has always depended on Glenn’s existence in the TV landscape. As I wrote before in my post Why The Walking Dead’s Glenn is the best Asian male character on TV today — and must not die!:
Steven Yeun, playing Glenn, is doing more to smash stereotypes about Asian men than any other actor on TV today….
Steven Yeun as Glenn on “The Walking Dead” – the most-watched drama series ever broadcast on American cable – proves that when you let Asian men step outside of the stereotypes to play great characters who are fascinating, nuanced and real to life, the public will watch.
That’s why we need Steven Yeun out there, playing Glenn to the very end of “The Walking Dead.” That’s why Glenn cannot die! You’re not just killing the heart and soul of the show; you’re killing, as YOMYOMF calls him, the “Most Interesting Asian Male Character on American Television.”
The question remains, now that Steven Yeun’s character has apparently been killed off (I say “apparently” because there’s still speculation that maybe, just maybe, Glenn’s not really dead), how should we feel about this?
Honestly, I’ve been in shock over this. Total shock.
It’s not just a matter of one less Asian actor on television. Glenn was one of the most outstanding characters I’ve ever known an Asian man to play on American television – which means his death creates a loss. Granted, we are seeing more groundbreaking Asian male characters on the screen than before. Still, I don’t of another character out there played by an Asian man with the depth, complexity and nuance of Glenn, not to mention the popularity. He was so beloved on The Walking Dead (affectionately called “Saint Glenn” by some), the true heart and soul of the program.
(I have to wonder, how many people will stop watching The Walking Dead because Glenn is gone?)
In the end, if we’ll never see Glenn again on The Walking Dead, then I have two hopes for American television. One, that we’ll see more of Steven Yeun in yet another unstereotypical, complex and fascinating role on the screen. And two, that Hollywood will do more diverse casting to give us many more characters like Glenn on television.
If you’re a fan of Steven Yeun as Glenn on The Walking Dead, how do you feel about this development in the show?