The Walking Dead: Why Actress Sonequa Martin-Green Actually Left the Show


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

The Walking Dead has been the jewel in AMC’s crown. And 10 years in the air is a long time, long enough for dozens of characters to leave their place. When that happens, the actors playing them have no choice but to remove their hats and walk off the stage (possibly after a brief stint as walkers). Sonequa Martin-Green, who played Sasha Williams for four seasons of the show, is one of those actresses.

Sasha’s death on The Walking Dead was shocking in execution, but fans keeping up with celebrity news saw it coming long before it happened. In 2016, it was announced that Sonequa Martin-Green 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 the barrage of questions began: Did the actress get out of her contract to make Star Trek: Discovery? Were The Walking Dead writers already planning to kick 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 end of season 7 of The Walking Dead and several months before the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery in September of that year, the actress cleared the air in an interview and explained that Sasha’s fate already It was being mapped when Star Trek: Discovery came along, so he didn’t leave one series for the other; it was simply a matter of Martin-Green’s The Walking Dead character being canceled anyway.

Star Trek: Discovery also turned out to be a stroke of luck for Sonequa Martin-Green, as she “didn’t know what she was going to do next” after leaving AMC’s post-apocalyptic hit.