×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jeffrey Dean Morgan on ‘The Walking Dead’ T-Shirt Controversy: ‘People Are Stupid’

On Wednesday, actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan tweeted in response after a “The Walking Dead” t-shirt was pulled from stores after customer complaints.

The offending shirts feature a quote from his character Negan and a drawing of his barbed wire baseball bat, Lucille. The quote read, “Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe” — the words Negan utters while selecting his victims.

A customer at the Primark retail stores in the U.K. found the quote offensive.

Ian Lucraft was shopping at the Sheffield branch of the Primark retail chain, saw the shirt, and was taken aback.

“We were shocked when we came face to face with a new t-shirt with a racially explicit graphic and text,” he told The Star. “The slogan is ‘Eeeny meeny miny moe’ … it stops there, but of course we all know what the original said: ‘catch a n—– by his toe.'”

Lucraft added, “the graphic has a large American baseball bat, wrapped round with barbed wire, and covered with blood. This image relates directly to the practice of assaulting black people in America. It is directly threatening of a racist assault, and if I were black and were faced by a wearer I would know just where I stood.”

Primark pulled the shirts from its stores and issued the following apology: “The T-shirt in question is licensed merchandise for the U.S. television series, ‘The Walking Dead,’ and the quote and image are taken directly from the show. Any offense caused by its design was wholly unintentional and Primark sincerely apologizes for this.”

In the show, Negan used the word “tiger” instead of the racial epithet. Morgan reacted strongly to the shirts’ removal, tweeting, “Holy crap people are stupid” and including a link to the story about the shirts.

AMC, the network that airs “The Walking Dead,” did not comment on the matter.

“The Walking Dead” airs Sundays on the cabler.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Norman Lear Advocacy

    How Norman Lear Devoted Himself to a Lifetime of Advocacy

    Norman Lear often recalls the moment he became politically and socially conscious of the world around him. When he was 9, he discovered Father Charles Coughlin while tinkering with his crystal radio set. Coughlin was an infamously anti-Semitic broadcaster and considered the father of hate radio. Lear, who is set to receive Variety’s Creative Conscience [...]

  • "The Positive Negative Reaction" -- Bernadette

    'The Big Bang Theory' to Stream Exclusively on HBO Max

    Bazinga! HBO Max has prevailed in the auction for streaming rights to “The Big Bang Theory,” one of the last major comedy franchises that has yet to be licensed for the binge-watching era. WarnerMedia’s nascent streaming platform will have exclusive rights to 12 seasons of the show from Warner Bros. Television and co-creators/executive producers Chuck [...]

  • Netflix-logo-N-icon

    Netflix Orders Supernatural Thriller Series 'Equinox' Based on Danish Podcast

    Netflix has ordered “Equinox,” a six-part Danish supernatural thriller series based on a well-known podcast, “Equinox 1985.” The show, which will be created by Tea Lindeburg (“Kødkataloget”), is set to start shooting later this year. It will be executive produced by Piv Bernth (“The Killing”) at Apple Tree Productions, which is backed by ITV Studios. [...]

  • David Goodman

    WGA West's David Goodman on Agency Strategy: 'We'll Start Meeting as Soon as Possible'

    David Goodman, who was resoundingly re-elected president of the Writers Guild of America West on Monday, said the guild plans to meet with several talent agencies soon in an effort to ease the impasse over packaging fees and affiliated production. “Many agencies had indicated that they wanted to wait to see the results of the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content