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Steven Yeun Thinks His ‘Walking Dead’ Character’s Brutal Death Was Just Great

Steven Yeun, who played Glenn Rhee on The Walking Dead, had nothing but praise for the writers’ decision to give his character one of the series’ most brutal death scenes since its 2010 inception. Bludgeoned to death by the show’s villain Negan, Rhee will be remembered forever, Yeun believes, unlike most characters played by Asian-American actors who typically fade into irrelevance.

“Maybe it’s something to be said that you’ve never seen an Asian character die like that onscreen before — because we don’t have Asian people onscreen to die! Even when we do die, we die silently,” Yeun said in an interview with Vulture.

He continued:

“I think the cruelest thing is that if Glenn had continued on, knowing how things usually shake out, I could totally foresee a situation where he just slowly, quietly disappears into the background and is kind of remembered but not really. But in this way, it was like holding up a battered skull to the world to be like, ‘Don’t forget, this Asian person existed in this medium and now he’s f—king dead.’ Like, he is f—king dead. That’s super cool! I’m cool with that.”

Critics of Hollywood shortcomings on racial representation typically point out how in horror movies and thrillers, actors of color are often the first characters to die. In his case, Yeun has a very special reason for why he’s A-OK with his character being savagely killed. And he has a good point.

Yeun is still painfully aware of racial bias in the industry, telling Vulture that Hollywood is “skewed against us because the system and the people are biased against us.”

But nonetheless, he remains relatively optimistic about the future of Asian Americans in Hollywood. “Look at casting directors, projects, and how things are,” he said. “They are literally waiting for Asian people, and they want to cast them. I think we’re at that precipice where they’re catching up on how to do it in the right way, but I see it happening,”

And arguably, according to Yeun, his grisly, horrifying death scene was the most positive sign at all for the future of Asian-American representation!

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