Interview in Variety

 

I’m interviewed in this article in Variety about the premiere of this season’s The Walking Dead, which pretty much featured 45 minutes of torture.  I think showrunners have a special responsibility to think carefully about how they portray certain kinds of violence, including torture.  This episode glorified the torture, for instance, through both camera techniques that emphasized the violence and the power of the torturer, and by casting the charismatic and likeable Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the man wielding the baseball bat.  The Walking Dead has used torture as a metaphor for humanity, and emphasized how choosing to torture is a dehumanizing act.  But in this episode the torture took over to the extent that it was decontextualized, and a show about zombies became an episodic version of Saw or Hostel.  Science fiction and fantasy is a metaphor for the real world we live in, and working in a fantastic world does not mean you’re divorced from our own universe.

TV’s Terrifying Trend: ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘American Horror Story’ and Head-Bashings