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AMC’s The Walking Dead has been controversial, to say the least, since its conception. It has managed to upset the racists and the conservatives by showing a man-on-man kiss and an interracial relationship. And it’s likely to rattle further cages, as the show has introduced a new gay character, named Jesus.
Whilst the show has not explicitly stated that the character is gay, readers of the comic books know this to be the case. The trailer for the 11th episode of season 6 shows new addition Jesus – a fully bearded, long-haired man who shows a resemblance to the religious figure.
While the television series has followed the comic book material closely, it has made some significant changes to the original texts. Having said this, the makers of the show kept the relationship between Aaron and Eric, which also appears in the comics.
Previous reactions to the Aaron-Eric kiss might give us a clue as to possible audience reactions to a gay man named Jesus. Conservative fans of the show erupted on Twitter following the first on-screen gay kiss – but given that this is a character sharing a name with a religious figure, the reaction will likely be much more intense.
One meme summed up the situation rather well:
‘So on The Walking Dead, Carl almost gets raped, people eat Bob, survivors commit suicide, brains get bashed in, humans kill other humans, people get tortured, children kill children and entire cities are massacred. But show two gay guys kiss, and suddenly “My kids don’t need to watch this trash.”‘
It’s unlikely that the conservatives who kicked off previously have stopped watching the show, as it still has sky-high ratings. They have a tendency to throw their toys out of the pram, but quickly pick them up afterwards – quietly.
‘Jesus kisses a man’: let’s sit back, enjoy and see how this pans out, shall we?