In the photo, Morgan, who is best known for playing the villain Negan on The Walking Dead, John Winchester on Supernatural, and Denny Duquette on Grey’s Anatomy, poses with a fan wearing a shirt supporting Blue Lives Matter.
Blue Lives Matter is a counter-movement that arose in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, which strives to end police brutality toward the black community. Blue Lives started after the 2014 killings of two Brooklyn police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, and the movement has helped make the targeting of police officers in Louisiana a hate crime. For many, it is a controversial issue to support, as some feel that Blue Lives tries to detract from the importance of Black Lives Matter.
Morgan’s perceived support of the movement angered many Walking Dead fans.
Morgan posted a lengthy defense of his shirt to Instagram, in which he addressed those he offended as “assholes” and said that “all lives matter. All of em.” He has since deleted the post, but in full, he wrote:
“Dear a–holes. Blue lives do matter. Can’t believe I need to explain to you this fact. All lives matter. All of em. This shirt was made in response to the cold blooded murder of two GOOD cops in NY, both that had immigrated to the US, and took an oath to protect and serve. This shirt was given to me at a convention by a woman, [whose] son, was shot during what was a routine traffic stop. He was black. I’m so tired of mean people. People who wake up in the morning, and I think, just sit behind the safety of their computers… anonymously… and start sh*t. Grow the f*ck up. The world has enough horrible things going on right now without your petty bullsh*t. Speaking of cops… I’d like to commend those in blue that saved countless lives in vegas. Those first responders saved hundreds… if not thousands. So you trolls…. go crawl under the rock in which you came. GOOD PEOPLE MATTER. You? Don’t.”
After seemingly digging himself into a further hole, Morgan followed up to his statement with another post, which according to BBC, read:
“I stand behind the sentiment… but, what was meant as one thing has been taken as another. I understand those that are upset… and to those people I apologise. Of course black lives matter. I stand behind that. Always have. This country means the world to me. The good people in it mean the world to me… the ones looking for a fight around every corner? Racists? Bullies? They don’t. We are a country divided and it’s getting scarier every day.”
Morgan has since deleted this second post.