The Walking Dead and Diversity

I was sitting on my couch after watching the latest episode of the Walking Dead Season 5 and I started thinking about how diverse this series is. Before I go on I would like to point out I will NOT spoil any plot points or character deaths from any of the seasons. I will try to talk in generalisations as much as possible.

OK, here we go.

When we talk about diversity we think about four different types:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Sexual Orientation

If you think about the characters of The Walking Dead you see how they cater to all these types better than any TV series out right now. By no means that I am saying all TV shows should cater to all these types. I can’t imagine the reason for having a homosexual, Hispanic female in Downton Abbey. I do feel like The Walking dead should be praised for having such a diverse cast.

In terms of the age bracket there are characters like Judith who is an INFANT child juxtaposed with Herschel who seems like he is in his early 70’s. As we go through the characters we see Carl who begins the series as a 12 year old. Maggie is in her early twenties, and Michonne who is in her thirties. I could go on and on but you get the idea. In terms of story this allows the show to experiment the different relationships such as the young-vs-old, strong-vs-weak, wisdom-vs-protection signifiers etc.

So it’s not difficult to have a range of gender. Male and female. Done.

Although when you take into consideration the race of the characters as well, it’s really quite awesome what AMC have done. Though some races are more prominent than others, when you really look at the list of all the characters throughout the entire show it becomes quite noticeable. Just look at these following characters and their characteristics taken from The Walking Dead Wiki. The wiki kind of highlights just how much they have tried to make this series diverse:

  • Korean-American (Glenn)
  • Hispanic-American (Rosita & Caesar)
  • African-American (Tyrese & Michonne)
  • Irish-American (Maggie & Hershel)
  • Caucasian-American (Rick & Andrea)

Finally, the reason I got the idea for this article was we were introduced to some characters (don’t worry, no spoilers) recently which turn out that these characters are homosexual. In the episode it doesn’t beat you over the head with it but it’s acknowledged and the story continues, which I highly respect.

Obviously I haven’t touched the surface on all the characters in the show. I hope whoever reads this either gives The Walking Dead a go, or if you are already watching it, then I hope you appreciate what AMC have done with this awesome series.

Article by Daniel Clements

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