The Walking Dead: What we suspected about the departure of Sonequa Martin-Green from the series


No matter the fate of its characters, The Walking Dead is a show that continued to live season after season. On air since October 2010, AMC’s zombie thriller franchise has spawned a spin-off titled Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead: Beyond, in 2020; A film trilogy centered on Rick Grimes is in the works. And while The Walking Dead will come to an end with season 11, the franchise will live on with even more projects, including a spinoff starring Norman Reedus’ Daryl Dixon, though Melissa McBride’s Carol Peletier just stepped down.

By all accounts, The Walking Dead has been the jewel in AMC’s crown. And 10 years on the air is a long time, long enough for dozens of characters to kick the bucket. When that happens, the actors playing them have no choice but to doff their hats and exit stage left (possibly after a brief stint as a walker). Sonequa Martin-Green, who played Sasha Williams for four seasons of the show, is one such actress.

Sasha began her time on The Walking Dead like many others: running from walkers, looking for a way to survive. After some time on the side of the villainous Governor, she and her brother Tyreese (Chad Coleman) join the main group. She becomes a valued member of the group and even finds a lover in Bob Stookey (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.).

Sasha’s death on The Walking Dead was shocking in its execution, but fans who keep up with celebrity news actually saw it coming long before it happened. In 2016, it was announced that the actress would be joining the cast of CBS All Access’s Star Trek: Discovery as Michael Burnham. Lo and behold, Sasha turned into a zombie just a year later in The Walking Dead season 7 finale.

That’s when she started the avalanche of questions: Did Sonequa Martin-Green get out of her contract so he could do Star Trek: Discovery? Were The Walking Dead Writers Already Planning To Cast Sasha? Was there tension on set that led to the decision? Once the speculation train leaves the station, there is no force in the world that can slow down enough to stop it.

In April 2017, shortly after The Walking Dead season 7 finale and several months before the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery in September of that year, Sonequa Martin-Green set the record straight in an interview. She explained that Sasha’s destiny was already being charted when Star Trek: Discovery came out, so she didn’t leave one series for another; it was simply a matter of Martin-Green’s The Walking Dead character being written off anyway.