How 'The Walking Dead' Stops Spoilers from Leaking

Here's how spoilers from hitting the Internet.

The Walking Dead is the most-watched television series on TV right now and with that comes added responsibility. The cast and crew of The Walking Dead are constantly facing spoilers, paparazzi and even drones.

In a recent report by The Hollywood Reporter, writer Lesly Goldberg outlined how The Walking Dead tries to prevent spoilers from hitting the Internet and boy is it a process. The Walking Dead Season 5 Alexandria Safe Zone Drone Photo of The Walking Dead Set Fans of The Walking Dead are about as hungry for spoilers as the walkers on the series are for human meat. This puts a lot of pressure on TV's number one drama to not only have an amazing story every week but to keep the biggest secrets top secret, which can be a major challenge for a TV show that films a majority of their scenes in the Georgia forests.
"We do like preserving the story for the audience," showrunnerScott M. Gimple tells The Hollywood Reporter. "With the advent of drones, it can become such a game of cat and mouse that as far as sneaking a peek at the actors walking to set, we want to just keep our actors safe and the people who might be looking safe — like [when they're] in the street."
However that doesn't mean that Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead, doesn't have any tricks up his sleeve when it comes to preventing spoilers from hitting the Internet.
"Sometimes people have to be covered — because sometimes you can tell a specific story point based on what someone's wearing or what their makeup looks like — so in that case, we do what we can to cover in order to protect the story," co-star Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha) says. Not to vilify anybody who’s trying to find secrets, just so we can make sure the story is intact for the audience."
Image Courtesy: AMC Steven Yeun even commented on the fact that many people believe that he is going to die on every episode due to alleged rumors presented as spoilers.
"I've struggled with this a lot actually; sometimes I do get perturbed by it. It’s not because it's annoying — it’s mostly because I want [fans trying to catch a glimpse near the set] to experience the best version of what we’re doing," he says. "For anyone that might think we live some sort of glamorous situation with what we’re doing everyday, it’s not. That is also what fuels me as an actor of why I love this show. It’s not a beauty show."
The Walking Dead has a long history of spoilers. AMC's website promoting the season two DVD spoiled Shane's then un-aired death, while more recently Beth's death was ruined on Facebook with a photo posting on the show's official page before the episode aired nationwide.
"We’ve had some pretty famous leaks where there’s been entire episodes posted online well ahead of the episode air date and what we find is that there’s a very rabid, but small set of fans that seek out any spoilers they can get, but most people want to enjoy in a way that allows them to have a conversation with people who like it," exec producer Dave Alpert says. "Ultimately, we try to prevent leaks because it’s nice for the story to come out when the story should come out, but ultimately it’s like if that’s how you want to enjoy the show then go for it."
  The Spoiling Dead Fans Most recently, The Spoiling Dead Fans, recently leaked the mid-season finale  where many characters of The Walking Dead are killed off and it has the Internet buzzing. We recently interviewed the masterminds behind The Spoiling Dead Fans and they had this to say about spoilers in the industry.

Have you received any push back from the AMC network? How did you respond?

We can’t go into detail on this subject, but after doing this for so long, we know where our line in the sand is.  We no longer post any type of unsanctioned videos and we are very vocal in our pleas for any person taking photos for us at filming locations to obey all security guards, never trespass, and be respectful of the local citizens.  It’s not worth the risk to our organization to post some picture that somebody got while hiding out behind the wardrobe trailer. 

It is important to point out that spoilers actually help out a TV series and brand. In 2011, Nicholas Christenfeld and Jonathan Leavitt of UC San Diego did a psychological experiment testing whether spoilers actually diminish enjoyment of fiction. They gave subjects short stories with twist endings to read, giving some of the subjects information about the twist in advance. For nearly every story, subjects who had the story “spoiled” actually enjoyed the story more than the subjects who didn’t know the ending in advance.

You can read the full story by The Hollywood Reporter here.

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