The world’s biggest ‘Walking Dead’ fan con may be more dead than walking, as the cast has declared that it is boycotting Walker Stalker/FanFest, possibly for good. This comes on the heels of Walker Stalker founder James Frazier stepping down as CEO, writing on social media (via AJC):
“Today, I’m turning it over to new leadership and stepping down. I will no longer have any decisions in the direction of the company and its daily management. I will make sure that they are up to speed on each and every issue and make myself available to assist them in any way that would help them succeed.”
He also added:
“This isn’t worth it.”
The last Walker Stalker con was marred when cast member Angel Theory (Kelly) was “verbally assaulted” by a member of the security team. Theory later called out Walker Stalker/Fan Fest for not paying the actors who attended.
Tickets to next year’s con are on sale, but be warned, there won’t be many cast members from ‘The Walking Dead’ in attendance.
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In a tweet, ‘TWD’ cast member Khary Payton (King Ezekiel) declared that he and the majority of the cast would no longer participate in Walker Stalker or any other Fan Fest gatherings.
I’m not coming.
Norman’s not coming.
Melissa’s not coming.
Danai’s not coming.
Cooper’s not coming.
Time to shut this shit down. #sickofit #WSC@bigbaldhead @mcbridemelissa @DanaiGurira @smugo https://t.co/P1PVM6HwkY
— Khary Payton (@kharypayton) October 28, 2019
As you can see, Payton has also indicated that Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Danai Gurira, and Cooper Andrews were also boycotting.
The Walker Stalker convention has been facing a lot of financial issues stemming from the fact that ‘The Walking Dead’ is rapidly diminished in popularity. While its ratings are still high, it’s not the beloved institution it was just a few short years ago.
In a subsequent tweet, Payton wrote:
“Hard to believe something that started off so well could end up this sideways. We’ll figure out a new conduit to see you guys but this has to stop.”
Separately, Cooper Andrews (Jerry) announced:
“I’m also pulling out of ALL Walker Stalker/FanFest shows for the foreseeable future. I LOVE meeting all of you, but as far as I’m concerned, Walker Stalker is not the best place for me to do that. I don’t write this easily, but I’ve been listening to my gut for as long as I remember and I’m not gonna start ignoring it now. I’ll see you all in other conventions! And of course, there will be cobbler.”
Angel Theory, the actor who was “verbally assaulted” and denied payment wrote:
“One thing I can say is I genuinely enjoyed my time doing it, I love getting to engage with the fans and talk to you guys and get to meet y’all and take goofy, silly photos, it’s supposed to be a fun thing. It’s supposed to be fun for the both of us — for the fans and for the actors themselves. However, it is not fun when it comes to not getting paid from the Walker Stalker company, what is owed to the actors. Just like you guys, y’all not getting y’all refunds back, the actors are not getting paid.”
Theory also blasted the con for not providing interpreters for the deaf and hearing-impaired guests and attendees.
But if you want to attend a star-free gathering of ‘Walking Dead’ fans, there will be a con in Atlanta, GA next year.