The Walking Dead recently aired its mid-season premiere on Sunday, and many online are buzzing about the episode. However, most of the talk around the episode of the zombie television show deals with a a single, controversial scene – two characters, Negan and Alpha, begin to have sex while one wears a mask made out of decaying human flesh.

Many on social media are disgusted and baffled by the strange sex scene.

Despite online criticism and controversy, Angela Kang, the showrunner of The Walking Dead, defended the scene in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. When asked about an earlier scene between Alpha and Negan, where Alpha puts a knife to his crotch, Kang implied that there is a romantic and sexual tension between the two characters. “I think with these two, Negan is this alpha male and Alpha is an alpha female. There’s a lot of twisted stuff between the two of them,” explained Kang. “There’s a bit of a courtship going on obviously. There’s something going on between them.”

When asked about the process of how the naked scene between Alpha and Negan was written, Kang was initially unsure if they were going too far. “I was like, ‘This is so weird. I don’t know if I can air this. You know what? We kind of have to do this.’ I think it really tracks with who Alpha is. She’s very survival of the fittest and nature’s way is the right way,” explained Kang.

Near the end of the interview, Kang was asked if she thought that Negan was aroused by Alpha’s flesh mask. “I do think so! I think Negan’s into some funky stuff,” answered Kang.

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