Fan favorite nerdlebrity Norman Reedus has become an icon as the zombie-stompin’ Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead. But despite his amazing survival skills, he was not able to repel a real bite attack by one of his greatest fans.
It seems that during a photo op at last weekend’s Walker Stalker Con(accent on the Stalker) in the Meadowlands, despite the proximity of equal badass Michael Rooker, an overeager woman reached out and bit Reedus’s chest. What happened next will not surprise you.
The woman approached the two actors and told Norman Reedus a story about how she likes to pretend that she’s married to him. After a moment, security ran in and restrained the woman, explaining that she was to be removed for biting theThe Walking Dead star and saying “Um….ma’am. You just bit Norman Reedus.”
Michael Rooker was surprised by the interaction as well. In fact, the actor who played Merle Dixon reportedly exclaimed “What the f**k was that?!”
The woman was restrained and has been banned from all future Walker Stalker events, and other Reedus appearances, but seemed a bit contrite on Instagram:
and Reedus responded with his own plea.
Reedus is VERY accommodating with his fans, who, to be fair, do resemble a rabid herd of zombies at times. I’ve heard nothing but good reports on his affable demeanor and patience with even obviously disturbed people like this, but this is obviously a very troubling incident.
There has long been a fear of overzealous fans in the SF community and comics as well. Harlan Ellison wrote a particularly impassioned essay called “Xenogenisis” describing some of the worst offenses by SF fans. Among comics pros, its common to relate the worst examples of fandom, but few comics creators inspire so much passion as to draw a bite from their fans. (A few might however.)
TBH, I’m surprised this hasn’t happened sooner. With so many nerdlebrity shows going on, and so many nerdlebrities and so many photo ops, and the blurring of lines between fans and stars with social media, it seemed like this was waiting to happen. Will this mark an era of increased security between nerdlebrities and the fans who love them? Or will the money to be made at these show overcome any fears?
Fear the Stalking Living, indeed.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.