‘The Walking Dead’s’ Melissa McBride reflects on playing a survivor at a time when Hollywood is reckoning with abuse

Melissa McBride, shown posing for a portrait at the Los Angeles Times photo studio, stars in the drama series "The Walking Dead."
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The hearing on Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, which raged on Thursday morning, struck a nerve with Melissa McBride of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

McBride and fellow cast members, as well as the zombie drama’s new showrunner, Angela Kang, were participating in an event promoting the series’ upcoming ninth season at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills during the morning session. McBride, who plays Carol Peletier, part of a group of embattled survivors of a zombie apocalypse, told The Times she was particularly impacted by recent reckonings with abuse in both Hollywood and the political sphere.

Over the course of the show’s nine seasons, Carol has transformed from a meek victim of domestic abuse to an empowered leader and skilled fighter. McBride became emotional as she spoke about her character’s arc.


“Carol gets a lot of fans that have survived abuse,” McBride said as she wiped away tears. “They like to write and tell me about it and how much Carol has inspired them, found strength in her story. It’s always hard for me to talk about this, which is one of the reasons why I don’t. I just want everybody to be okay. ”

“I feel honored to play a character like that,” she continued. “To end up in a place of courage and taking initiative helping other people, finding her path or truth. I want that for everyone.”