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Walking Dead Actor Opens Up About Show’s Lack of Representation

Walking Dead Actor Opens Up About Show’s Lack of Representation


“I was disappointed it wasn’t in there more.”

Some fans of The Walking Dead were recently saddened over the loss of one of the show's characters. Although, many might not have even realized the fan favorite Jesus (Tom Payne) was gay.

The character was heavily depicted in the graphic novels as being gay, with several storylines that addressed his sexuality. But during his three seasons on the AMC show, his sexuality was only briefly mentioned. And Payne is not happy with how the show depicted that part of his character.

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"It's been so amazing to be a part of that community and to give visibility as a gay character on one of the biggest television shows ever," Payne told The Hollywood Reporter. "But I was disappointed it wasn't in there more. It wasn't ever even explicitly mentioned. [Jesus' sexual orientation] was just one scene with Lauren in season seven. The right people picked up on it; they did recognize it. But you can find people who still don't realize Jesus was gay. I think they could have been a bit more up front about that."

In the past, the show has come under fire from LGBTQ audiences. During season six, they killed off Denise (Merritt Wever) right after she'd professed her love for Tara. Some felt the character's death fell victim to the "bury your gays" trope.

Although Jesus will be missed, the show still features several LGBTQ characters, including Aaron (Ross Marquand), Tara (Alanna Masterson), Magna (Nadia Hilker), and Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura).

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