The Washington Post

Zombies to march in Washington to promote ‘Walking Dead,’ protest Dish dropping AMC

Yep, you may see this guy around Washington on Friday. (Gene Page/AP)

No, they’re not the undead of cable news punditry.

They are the zombies of AMC.

As a sort of run-up to World Zombie Day — yes, there is a World Zombie Day, and has been since 2006 (try to keep up) — die-hard zombies (get it?) will gather to not-voice their concern about the plight of 14 million families across the country facing a zombie-less Halloween.

The AMC cable network will launch the third season of its popular zombie-drama, “The Walking Dead,” on Sunday without being able to reach Dish Network’s 14 million satellite subscribers. Dish dropped all the AMC networks in June, claiming that it’s not worth being forced to also carry IFC, WE tv, Sundance Channel and IFC Films networks to access a handful of popular series on its AMC network.

AMC says that Dish actually dropped its subscribers’ fave show — that would be “The Walking Dead” — because of an unrelated lawsuit between the two companies that has gone to trial in New York.

The civic-minded zombies will stage their protest around lunchtime at photogenic locations around Washington, including Lafayette Square park — Ground Zero of protests, according to one AMC rep — and the Monument, because apparently vampires have already planted their flag in Lincoln.

AMC execs also have been working like little beavers to co-opt Saturday’s World Zombie Day and turn it into a marketing campaign for “The Walking Dead.”

World Zombie Day is an international annual event that, according to what we think is World Zombie Day’s official Web site — zombies are a fairly disorganized bunch — grew from Pittsburgh’s first Zombie Walk in 2006 at Monroeville Mall, where George Romero filmed “Dawn of the Dead.” More than 50 cities worldwide participate in World Zombie Day, including New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Chicago and Tokyo.

Every year, tens of thousands of weekend zombies march, race, pub-crawl and, in some locations, raise money for local food banks, which prompts the question: zombies and food banks?

Anyway, AMC has already sucked organizers of various World Zombie Day events nationwide into their cult of commerce:

“We need ‘The Walking Dead’ back on Dish and we’re willing to lend a hand, well actually any limb needed, to do it!” Brandon May, an organizer of the Zombie 5K Buffets in Columbus, Jacksonville, Phoenix and Nashville, said in a statement given to AMC for publicity purposes.

“It is a true Zombie crisis! Zombies fans are frothing at the mouth because many of us cannot see ‘The Walking Dead,’ ” chimed in Jonathan Ackerman, organizer of the Zombie Pub Crawl in Minneapolis and St. Paul.



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