With the bonkers Season 8A finale stilled burned into our brains — including the reveal that Carl is not long for this world — it might be fair to say that things are about to go from bad to worse for our favorite Walking Dead characters. Rick is not only staring down the barrel of the proverbial gun that is a war with Negan and the Saviors, he’s also going to have to say goodbye to his soon-to-be-zombie teenage son, so things are about to get rough for our hero. He’s going to need all the support he can get. And while that support system is already present and accounted for, what Rick might not be counting on is losing another close friend. That could very well happen if some of the rumors going around about one actor’s involvement with The Walking Dead going forward prove to be true.
On Friday, Deadline reported that TWD star Lauren Cohan might be fielding offers from different TV shows. According to the outlet, as the 2018 pilot season firms up across the TV industry, it would seem that Cohan is in high demand and is currently being offered not one but a number of roles on various TV pilots. There’s no word on whether Cohan has chosen to pursue talks with the production teams on any of the shows in question (and we don’t know which shows those would be, exactly), but the news is wild, to say the least.
Wild because, well, Cohan has become an integral part of TWD since she first popped up in Season 2 as Maggie. Since then, she’s become a core member of the cast, with Maggie’s development as a character and her relationship with Glenn becoming a major emotional arc in the series. As of the Season 8A finale, Maggie is pregnant and preparing to fight for her life and the lives of her friends. There’s no logical reason for her to be written off (aside from the built-in easy out that the world of TWD provides, a deadly zombie bite), and frankly, losing her at this point in the story would be needless and cruel, especially when she’s really coming into her own as a leader on the show.
That said, it makes sense that Cohan would be eyeing an exit in real life if, as Deadline notes, she is not given the pay parity with male costars Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus that she has been seeking. Deadline notes that Lincoln and Reedus are “paid significantly more than all of their female colleagues.” We have no idea how much that is, but it’s certainly enough of a gap to have Cohan fighting for more.
Cohan’s contract with the show has opened up, leaving her free to negotiate her salary with AMC and possibly be open to new offers elsewhere. Hence the rumors that she could be leaving the show and, as a result, Maggie would probably be killed off. There are no indicators at present to suggest whether Cohan is leaning toward staying or going, but let’s hope that AMC sees reason and works with her to give her pay parity. With Season 9 already a go and Cohan’s future with the show still up in the air, fans of TWD should prepare for anything.
It would be a disappointing way to go after seven years, but Cohan choosing to leave because she is not getting paid the same amount as her male costars — who arguably have the same amount of screen time and importance in the show these days as she does — would be justified. Numerous female TV stars have come forward lately, including Ellen Pompeo and Tracee Ellis Ross, describing how they have had to negotiate hardcore to get the pay they deserve for the performances they give on the hit shows they anchor. Cohan’s in a similar boat as these women, and hopefully, she’ll get the pay parity she seeks.