8/3/16: litigation-free spoilers for the walking dead, season seven

I find it absurd that, according to Entertainment Weekly, AMC has “threatened litigation” against a fan site that was seeking to post spoilers about the cliffhanger. If we’re talking screenshots from a leaked episode, excerpts from a stolen script, or images from the closed set, then I can understand the need to protect their intellectual property. But if we’re simply talking about speculating–whether it’s informed by on-set leaks or not–then there seems, to me, to be no harm in it. Let’s not forget that AMC is the network responsible for popularizing post-show talkback shows, and while theirs might be “official,” they don’t have a right to dictate how fans of the show go about discussing what may have happened. The showrunner, Scott Gimple, suggests that this is to “preserve the audience’s experience,” and yet there are plenty of people who watch things despite having had them spoiled–take, for instance, anybody who watches the film adaptation of a popular book. Creators don’t get to determine what the audience experience is, and the more they seek to reduce our participation, the likelier they are to face blowback or rebellion–the water-cooler chatter is what made Lost popular, not the other way around.

So, out of fear, respect, and defiance, here’s a list of spoilers for the upcoming season that I’d just like to see them try to sue me for.

  1. We learn that Negan’s barbed-wire-wrapped bat is nicknamed Rosebud, after a childhood sled that his mother gave him, and which represents the more innocent time that he longs for, even though it cuts into him the harder he grasps at it.

  2. It is revealed that Daryl sees dead people. The twist is that he’s actually not the only person who can see them.
  3. Glenn doesn’t really exist; it’s just been Maggie the whole time. She made him up so that she could better cope with the zombified commercial world around her.
  4. Rick discovers the severed head of the Statue of Liberty and realizes they’re actually on Earth. But in an autistic child’s snowglobe. On an island. And he’s Carl’s father.

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