(Spoilers for both Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead)
The controversy over the race of character deaths in The Walking Dead universe was resurrected this week after the second episode killed off two more black characters, following the premiere episode, which killed off one black character. For those keeping count at home, three characters with any significant screen time have been killed off. All three are black.
In fact, it’s enough of an issue that the Fear the Walking Dead showrunner had to defend those polarizing deaths after the episode aired. It also had many wondering if Fear the Walking Dead was repeating the mistakes of The Walking Dead.
If history is any indication, however, Fear the Walking Dead will eventually even that number out. The Walking Dead has done so, and though Twitter still explodes every time a black character is killed off on the series, the numbers actually show that — as a percentage — The Walking Dead actually kills off as many white characters as it does black characters.
Reddit user empress-of-blandings ran the numbers this week, and the results may come as a surprise. Of the 28 white characters on the series so far, 17 have been killed off. That means 60.7 percent of the white characters have been killed off.
Of the 10 black characters on the series, so far, six have been killed off. Again, that’s 60 percent.
The black characters may have died at a disproportionate rate in the early goings of The Walking Dead, but — by casting more non-white characters and diversifying the cast — the percentages have actually evened out over the course of the series. That’s progress, although it doesn’t mean there won’t be riots if Michonne is killed off.