AMC has officially responded to the lawsuit brought against the network by a group of producers on the ratings hit The Walking Dead. Earlier today it was announced that several current and former producers for the AMC show Walking Dead were suing the network for what could amount to up to $1 billion in damages. Included in this lawsuit is comic creator Robert Kirkman, who joins former showrunner Glen Mazzara as well as executive producers Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert.
The lawsuit stems from concerns over how much AMC pays its in-house production company, AMC Studios, as well as profits owed to Kirkman and those involved with the lawsuit. This has inevitably drawn comparisons to former showrunner Frank Darabont’s lawsuit back in 2013, which similarly claimed that AMC was hoarding most of the profits from Walking Dead for themselves. AMC’s response to this latest lawsuit, however, paints an entirely different picture.
Related: Walking Dead Producers Suing AMC
Not long after the announcement of the Walking Dead producers’ lawsuit, AMC officially responded to the suit, saying:
“These kinds of lawsuits are fairly common in entertainment and they all have one thing in common – they follow success… Virtually every studio that has had a successful show has been the target of litigation like this, and The Walking Dead has been the #1 show on television for five years in a row, so this is no surprise. We have enormous respect and appreciation for these plaintiffs, and we will continue to work with them as partners, even as we vigorously defend against this baseless and predictably opportunistic lawsuit.”
Naturally, this is a very professional and overall friendly response by AMC that nevertheless dismisses the lawsuit as simply the nature of popular shows. Though should estimates be correct, $1 billion in punitive damages would be one of the most expensive television lawsuits in history, which in itself most would no doubt consider something of a huge deal. Regardless, the second part of the statement indicates that fans shouldn’t worry about any delays in The Walking Dead’s return for season 8 (which has been fairly busy filling out its cast and filming).
Now the question of whether or not this could eventually affect the long-term future of The Walking Dead is another matter altogether. Should the lawsuit lead to a verdict in favor of the producers of the show, it could no doubt prove financially disastrous for AMC, in which case the future of the show becomes harder to predict. At this point, however, AMC’s response suggests that the company is ready to fight back against Kirkman and the other producers in this lawsuit. How it all eventually turns out remains to be seen, but fans can be reasonably certain that The Walking Dead will likely go ahead with its appropriately war-driven season 8 later this year.
The Walking Dead returns on October 22 with its 100th episode.