Chandler Riggs’ dad calls out former ‘Walking Dead’ showrunner for being ‘dishonest’ before firing his son

Chandler Riggs’ father is speaking out about his son’s departure from “The Walking Dead” again and he has a lot to say about former showrunner Scott M. Gimple.

Saturday afternoon, William Riggs posted a lengthy note to Facebook detailing what went on behind-the-scenes as his son, who played Carl Grimes since season one on the AMC zombie series, was let go from the show.

“Chandler didn’t want to leave the show,” wrote William Riggs. “[Former showrunner] Scott Gimple personally called him and said on a conference call in April [2017] that they needed him for three years.”

As a result, William Riggs said Chandler bought a house to be closer to the “TWD” set in Atlanta. At the same time, Chandler was accepted to University of Georgia and planned to balance his time between the show and school.

Read more: The old ‘The Walking Dead’ showrunner explains why the show has made so many changes from the beloved comic

“It was the middle of June, his 18th birthday was coming up in a couple of weeks, 5 episodes were filmed, and they asked for my wife and I to both be at a meeting with Chandler- which was a little odd,” the post continued. “It made me nervous but he and his manager assured me it was to plan for filming schedule, etc. Scott Gimple was the only one there and he told us that Carl would be gone in a few episodes. Chandler was absolutely devastated. I was disappointed Scott had been dishonest with a 17 year old making life decisions and waited to tell us.”

Carl’s death was one of the most shocking departures “The Walking Dead” made from the comics, notably because Carl is still alive and thriving in Robert Kirkman’s series. Instead of a gruesome, big death, fans were made to believe that one of the show’s original characters slipped up and died because of a walker bite he suffered.

Carl revealed his walker bite to his father, Rick, and Michonne on the season eight mid-season finale in December 2017.
Gene Page/AMC

Gimple is no longer the series’ showrunner. In January 2018, he was promoted to chief content officer of the larger “Walking Dead” universe.

You can read William Riggs’ message below in full:

“Just to clarify once and for all: Chandler didn’t want to leave the show. He had been accepted at UGA, and would complete school while working (online when filming) as he had done high school for the last 8 years.

Scott Gimple personally called him and said on a conference call in April that they needed him for 3 years. Chandler agreed to a 2 year contract, which was typical. 1 year guaranteed and the next one at their option, which was also typical. He signed the deal, graduated from high school and went back to work. He bought a house near the set and enrolled at UGA so that he could be close to work since we had been commuting nearly 2 hours each way all these years.

It was the middle of June, his 18th birthday was coming up in a couple of weeks, 5 episodes were filmed, and they asked for my wife and I to both be at a meeting with Chandler- which was a little odd. It made me nervous but he and his manager assured me it was to plan for filming schedule, etc. Scott Gimple was the only one there and he told us that Carl would be gone in a few episodes. Chandler was absolutely devastated. I was disappointed Scott had been dishonest with a 17 year old making life decisions and waited to tell us.

After it aired, I was asked to comment on how I felt. I did, maybe shouldn’t have. 3 hours later AMC asked me to take the comment down- which I did- 6 hours later TMZ called and wanted me on and I declined. None of it has ever really been about me. Don’t know why anyone would say anything about me- but that’s ok- teaching Chandler to disregard negativity came with the deal so I can do it too lol. I never made it difficult for my son, our family had to work together to make it possible for him. Extremely grateful for the opportunity and 8 great years; as a parent I felt Chandler had earned better treatment, but that’s the biz. Unkind timing.”

The timing of William Riggs’ message comes right before the return of “The Walking Dead” on AMC and two weeks before his son is set to appear on ABC’s “A Million Little Things,” something William Riggs pointed out in another comment on Facebook.

Read more: ‘The Walking Dead’ director explains Sunday’s big death: ‘I know people are going to be upset’

In February 2018, “TWD” executive producer Greg Nicotero told INSIDER that, as far as he knew, there were never conversations to kill off anyone else on the show but Carl. He only knew of conversations talking about the idea to kill off Carl since the fourth or fifth episode of season eight. Nicotero said this is something then-showrunner Scott Gimple could have had in mind for a while.

That aligns with what William Riggs shared on Facebook. Carl is bit on the sixth episode of season eight.

Here’s the moment when Carl was bit (off screen) on season eight, episode six of “TWD.”
AMC

It’s not the first time William Riggs went after the series’ former showrunner, Scott Gimple. After it was revealed Carl was bit on “TWD” back in December 2017, William Riggs claimed his son Chandler was fired.

“Watching Gimple fire my son 2 weeks before his 18th birthday after telling him they wanted him for the next 3 years was disappointing,” wrote Riggs in a deleted Facebook message. “I never trusted Gimple or AMC, but Chandler did. I know how much it hurt him. But we do absolutely know how lucky we have been to be a part of it all and appreciate all the love from fans all these years!”

When reached for comment, Riggs’ father told INSIDER he had nothing more to add and that he was “just setting the record straight.”

Riggs shared both of those messages on a Facebook page for unofficial “The Walking Dead” set tours he held on his own, on which he would take groups of people to some of the show’s filming locations and “exclusive details of what goes on behind the scenes.”

A representative for AMC didn’t immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.

You can follow along with our “Walking Dead” coverage here.

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