If you don’t know about The Spoiling Dead Fans yet, you’re probably not combing the internet daily for Walking Dead spoilers like a foaming, obsessed, psychopath me.

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If you are like me and you do find yourself seeking all the latest TWD details and set leaks then you probably are aware of not just this site but the speed and accuracy with which this team delivers their spoilers. With a fanbase nearly half a million strong (affectionately dubbed The Spoiling Dead Fan Army) this fansite is becoming a major player in the spoiler game. So much so that even if you are not aware of them AMC is and that’s not as awesome as it might sound. After the devastating (for all the wrong reasons) season six cliffhanger finale, The Spoiling Dead Fans (TSDF) have been hard at work to deliver the goods about who exactly got “Lucilled” for those (like me) who simply can’t wait until October. This diligence, however, has found them in a bit of a pickle as explained in this recently issued statement on their forums…

Well Buttercups, we have some sad news to share today. After two years, AMC finally reached out to us! But it wasn’t a request not to post any info about the Lucille Victim or any type of friendly attempt at compromise, it was a cease and desist and a threat of a lawsuit by AMC Holdings, LLC’s attorney, Dennis Wilson. They say we can’t make any type of prediction about the Lucille Victim. Their stance is that making such a prediction would be considered copyright infringement. AMC tells us that we made some claim somewhere that says we received “copyright protected, trade secret information about the most critical plot information in the unreleased next season of The Walking Dead” and that we announced we were going to disclose this protected information. We still aren’t sure where we supposedly made this claim because they did not identify where it was.
The truth is, we have become victims of our own success. We hold a track record for accuracy and now AMC perceives us as a threat. We can understand why. We were once just a small community, but now we are 400,000 strong among all our outlets. The TSDF Army, originally named in jest, is now very real in this little cottage industry. We are a threat because of our accuracy. However, it was never our intention to cause harm to this show (and we don’t believe we have), only to satisfy the curiosity of thousands of fans who wanted what we offered. Millions of other fans tune in to this show unspoiled and are none the wiser about who we are. We are a dedicated community of enthusiastic, passionate fans that love this show so much we always want to know what’s going to happen and speculate on all those possibilities. Our spoilers are intended only for fans that seek them out to enhance their own viewing experience.
Basically what it all comes down to is if we post our Lucille Victim prediction and we’re right, AMC says they will sue us. Whether there are grounds for it or not is not the issue, it still costs money to defend. That is the way our justice system works. Would we have defenses? Sure. But it also costs money to mount that defense. If someone brings us a potential Lucille spoiler and we confirm it and it turns out accurate we could get sued. That doesn’t mean they’re right and we’re wrong, but like so many other situations in this world, they have the money and power and we do not. So we lose. In the past two years, AMC has filed several wrongful DMCA notices against us with full knowledge that we could not file counter-notices, hired investigators to intimidate our members, and threatened our local members with arrest, among other questionable acts. We’re also pretty sure they had something to do with the DOS attack on our site just before the finale last season. They have exhibited every quality of a bully pounding its chest. That sucks for us. It’s very disappointing to see the network that hosts our favorite show attack one of their biggest fan bases. Especially when they could have taken a more diplomatic approach that could have given them the same results.
Please respect our decision not to put our livelihoods at risk. AMC has been harassing us for four days now by contacting our homes, our family members and our employers; even posting on this page and personal social media accounts. We are fans of this show just like you and aren’t a commercial operation that makes profit. We have families and careers to think about. No spoiler will ever be worth compromising those things. If you think this makes us pussies that are bowing down to AMC then so be it.
After consultation with our legal counsel, we have responded to AMC that the TSDF staff will not be posting our prediction on who gets Lucilled on any of our outlets. We will also not be answering any questions about who we think it is. If you hear a potential spoiler elsewhere and bring it to us for confirmation, we will not confirm or deny it. If you message us privately and ask who we think gets Lucilled, we will not respond. The info may find another outlet on its own, but an official prediction will not come from the TSDF staff.
But let’s be real here. It’s unreasonable to think for a moment that the Lucille spoiler won’t come out before the air date. Our 2% of the viewership knows better. First, we aren’t the only spoiler business in the game. Also, simple observation and deduction can’t be prohibited. With much help, we have become very good at watching, listening, waiting, researching and separating the truth from the lies and being savvy when it comes to this show’s filming process. That typically reaches our goals. We are the reporters of this information. So while we will continue to post set reports, it will be up to you guys to take that information and make your own assumptions about who it is. We cannot assist by giving our speculation.
Just to clarify, we will continue to post all of our filming updates, eyewitness reports and all photos taken legally throughout the filming season just like we always have. We are by no means getting shut down. It’s still business as usual here, we just won’t be spoiling the biggest moment so far. Yes, we have taken a bit of a fall. But why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up again. (Thanks, Alfred!)
Very truly yours – The TSDF Staff

Being one who refreshes their page many times a day waiting for my precious spoilers, I was crushed by this news and immediately packed my things to embark on an epic quest for answers. After realizing I wouldn’t have to go further than my computer, I quickly unpacked my bag and reached out to TSDF for an interview. Now, without further ado, here it is… The Geeks of the Round interview with The Spoiling Dead Fans!

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Let’s start super simple but I warn, I’m jumping right to the juice after this. I know there are a few of you who post on the sites, Ninja & Shinyfirefly seem to be the most active, who exactly do I have the pleasure of chatting with?

 

This is Ninja… Well, NinjaPancake to be precise.

 

And a big hello to you today Mr or Mrs. Pancake. Are there any others mods I missed? I swear I’m not with the government or AMC. Ignore the fedora, it’s a loaner (from our own Matt Moore).

 

Haha! So Shiny and PrimeTolli are the owners. I’m the designated “Spoiler Chaser”. We also have about 10 other fantastic staff members that help keep our site running smooth!

Oh and I’m a Ms Pancake for the record.


I tried to think of a witty reply involving butter, because ya know… pancakes, but I failed. The elements are there but it’s just not connecting without sounding completely weird so instead let’s continue with the whole, “I’m not from the government” theme, can you tell us a little about the people behind the page? Stuff and thangs like, blood types, social security numbers, are you guys hardcore comic book / pop culture geeks and fanatics (like us) or are you more like the kindly librarian who happened to catch a bug for this one particular show and now here we are?

 


Sure! My SSN is 654–… Hey, wait a second!!! Hehe. Well I I think most of us qualify as your average pop culture nerd. Yet we are all special snowflakes, so that nerd spectrum varies amongst us. But the Walking Dead bug definitely bit us all in the ass (am I allowed to say that? Feel free to censor me, I’m kinda used to it right now BOOM! haha). We’re really just a few passionate fans that love to sit back, and geek out over all things Walking Dead with each other. Our community has basically become our own little paradise because let’s face it, our friends and family don’t want to hear us analyze and discuss our favorite character’s story arcs. So our site provides a nice little escape for our geekdom.

 

We get that for sure, that’s why we do what we do as well. There’s always someone out there who cares about what you have to say, sometimes you just have to look a little harder to find them but when you do it’s bears, beets, best. Have you guys ever considered spoiling other shows like say, Game of Thrones or maybe Game of Thrones?

 

Honestly, we have our hands full with The Walking Dead! And now with Fear the Walking Dead it’s like we gave birth to twins. We started a separate Facebook page for Fear spoilers and also have a dedicated section for it on our website. I think Watchers on the Wall has GOT covered. They do excellent work!

 

OK, let’s stop being friendly for a few minutes and get to some real journalism. Please and thank you. We can circle back to the lighter stuff after we’ve at least tried to make each other cry once or twice. I think you know what I’m going to bring up next, the big ol’ elephant in the room. What’s your favorite sausage?

 

That’s a really difficult question!! How about that artificial sausage that they put on McGriddles? Does that count?

 

Everything counts. This life only happens once but actually that was not the right question. You’ve recently been issued a threat of legal action from AMC for your spoiler posts. Can you tell me a little about that?

 

On June 7 a lawyer that represents AMC emailed us a cease and desist letter stating that we claimed we received “copyright protected, trade secret information about the most critical plot information in the unreleased next season of The Walking Dead.” However, we don’t really know where this claim is coming from and they failed to identify it. The only thing we did state is that we were working on confirming the victim and hoped to post our prediction in the coming weeks. There’s all kinds of legal ways to get these “confirmations” and even then, they are never 100% until the show airs. In their letter they basically stated that if we disclosed our “Lucille Victim” prediction and were correct that they would file a copyright lawsuit and seek money damages. So they basically shut that shit down just like Negan. We’re the little guys here. We don’t make a profit. We’re just a group of diehard fans and the depths of our pockets can never compete with a giant like AMC. So we don’t have much of a choice but to kneel. Yet we will still continue our set reports and normal spoilery business but we will be avoiding anything involving Lucille like the plague.

 

Made you kneel… Sounds like Negan to me. You have no choice but to obey at this point much like Rick. That said, you say you will still do the set reports and normal spoilery stuff but where does that leave something like process of elimination? Like, say if you report cast member A, B, C, D, E & F have been spotted on sets but cast member G…lenn hasn’t been seen all year along with perhaps another unnamed cast member. Can you post something like that or is that considered the “no no zone” by AMC’s legal team?

 

There were no demands regarding posting things people saw with their own eyeballs while observing the set in a public area. They can’t “Lucille” observation and deductive reasoning. So while we cannot disclose our take on how it plays out, we can at least state who we hear is on set and let our followers make their own assumptions. Now this does get tricky sometimes because eye witness reports aren’t always accurate. A fine example of that is a couple weeks ago several fans swore they saw Harold Perrineau on set. Needless to say, nope it sure wasn’t! Another nuance to throw in the mix is sometimes actors visit the set but they aren’t necessarily filming. That can throw us off sometimes unless they are spotted in costume. Then there’s other times that actors become stealthy ninjas and go undetected for long periods of time. So it can get difficult to get it all straight sometimes. In theory, if you follow filming tracking close enough and have mediocre deductive reasoning skills you might get a general idea on who it could be as the filming season progresses.

 

How about sock puppets!!? Can you make predictions using sock puppets?

 

Now that’s an avenue we haven’t considered. That could be a game changer! Actually, now that you have planted that in my brain I think we might actually switch to delivering all of our spoilers via sock puppets.

 

Is this the first time AMC has threatened legal action over your spoilers?

 

They have filed DMCA notices to get some of our content removed from our social media accounts in the past. However, this is the first time they have actually threatened us with a lawsuit.


Considering that, I have to ask… How’s it feel to be the big dog now? I think it’s safe to say AMC has deemed you and your audience a threat. Did you ever expect your community to blow up like this?

 

It terrifies me!! I much rather prefer to be the “little dog” that lurks in the shadows. I guess it does feel nice that we have basically been deemed “too accurate”. That means we have done our jobs well. I don’t think any of us quite expected our little community to blow up like it has. It’s been a crazy ride!

 

Did you expect such an extreme backlash? Besides the AMC fallout, what has been some of the other backlash you’ve dealt with by being a spoiler site?

 

I think this whole experience caught us a little off guard. We knew AMC likes to play dirty, but we did not think they would go to the extreme of threatening a lawsuit all because we wanted to share our prediction on who we think gets the bat. There’s always backlash from the “anti-spoiler community”. There’s plenty of people out there that hate spoilers and we respect that. We fully support the idea that everyone should be able to experience the show in a way that suits them best. So we understand people that don’t like spoilers. No hard feelings there at all. It would be great if it was simple as, “Ok, you stay on your side and don’t look at spoilers. Then we’ll stay over here on our side and enjoy our spoilers.” The problem arises when both sides mingle. There’s always that one asshole who will take our information and spread it where it’s not wanted. So a poor unfortunate soul avoiding spoilers might stumble across something they didn’t really want to see. When that happens we are automatically the scapegoat. “That damn spoiler site!!” Even though we strongly urge others to engage in spoiler etiquette and be mindful of where they are reposting our information, we simply cannot control the inconsiderate assholes of the universe.

 

From personal experience I can tell you, I never get spoiled by the spoiler sites unless I want to be. It’s always that random friend of a friend who sucker punches my dreams. Still, sites like yours end up the scapegoat. What happens if this isn’t the only thing you end up having to kneel to? What about the next big secret and the ones after that? If AMC tries to shut down not just your site’s ability to make educated predictions based off public information but your entire communities freedom to relish in that information, you really will be living out what’s happening on the screen. TSDF effectively becomes Alexandria. You moderators are Rick and the core cast. AMC’s legal team, The Saviors. And obviously we know who Negan is in this nightmare scenario but apparently process of elimination is a grey area so… what happens then when your community is essentially boiled down to a filtered promotional tool for the show? Basically I’m asking, are you along for the ride wherever it takes TSDF even if AMC cuts out the S entirely or will you fight if in a corner and forced?

 

We don’t exactly have a clear plan for that right now. We’re going to have to play things by ear and see what happens. A few lawyers have reached out to us since all this madness began. If AMC continues to be so aggressive then we might look more into our legal options. It is kind of interesting and ironic how our current situation sort of mirrors what’s happening in the show right now, isn’t it? We are up against a giant force that could crush us with one swift blow to our pockets. So do we want to gather the troops and start all out war? Or could we reach some sort of treaty and coexist in harmony with “Negan”? At this point, we just don’t know. I think it would be a bad idea to continue to shut down our spoilers. Whether the powers that be realize it or not, we keep the show at the tips of tongues and fingers 24/7. Our content helps generate discussion and hype for the show even in the off season. Very few shows have that going for them. Instead of trying to destroy us, it would probably benefit AMC more if they tried to tap into our potential.


OK, I pestered you enough at this point. I’m just going to ask you one more really rude question and then one more really polite question and then you can be rid of me. We’ll get the rude question out of the way because only a jerk would leave on a sour note, so here it is, what do you have to say to the fans of your site that are saying AMC slipped you guys a bucket of crispy thighs and a little side of dollar sign cole slaw? I’m not judging or expecting some sort of bumbling baddie’s accidental confession if this were in fact the case nor am I suggesting that it is but what would be your official statement to those who would suggest such a thing?

 

Our bank accounts do not reflect this statement. Neither do our buckets which are completely devoid of crispy thighs.


Final question. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck was not actually a woodchuck but in fact a highly skilled woodchucking professional? This is a serious question. I need to know.

 

{ANSWER REDACTED – INFORMATION CLASSIFIED}


At last!! An answer to one of life’s greatest mysteries. Thanks for doing this with us. Any final words for our readers or AMC for that matter?

 

We want to thank all of our fans for their overwhelming support during these dark times. It means the world to us! Also, to AMC – We are some of the Walking Dead’s biggest fans that always root for the success of the show. We never intend to cause harm. It’s a shame that you feel the need to be so aggressive to your fans especially when you could have taken a more diplomatic approach and could have achieved the same results. *Rings shame bell*


Shame indeed.

 

 

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And that was it. With the ring of a bell that didn’t quite sound like a bell but more so like a saxophone blown by the devil himself in a Kenny G wig, Ms. NinjaPancake was gone. Personally, I think what AMC is doing is not protecting their fans from spoilers but protecting their own financial interest. You can argue it many ways but the most logical reason for that highly illogical (from a fan perspective) cliffhanger ending was not to make good entertainment but secure big ad dollars for the season 7 premiere. Making money is fine but when you’re as massive of an entity as The Walking Dead is, you don’t do it at the expense of your most loyal and devoted.
That’s all I’ve got. I’m Turd Grendle and this was an interview.
To learn more about The Spoiling Dead Fans, check out the following links before AMC puts a stop to them completely.