The network released a statement to the press on Thursday announcing the cancellation of The Walking Dead's panel discussion.
"Unfortunately, we will no longer be able to present our panel with The Walking Dead executive producers. The panel conflicts with the funeral services for our stuntman John Bernecker, which Scott Gimple and some of the other EPs will be attending," the statement read. "Thank you in advance for your understanding."
Bernecker died earlier this month
after filming for the upcoming eighth season of the AMC zombie series, due to blunt force trauma caused by injuries from a fall that reportedly occurred while he was on set on July 12.
Bernecker reportedly suffered head trauma after falling more than 20 feet onto a concrete floor, Variety reported. The stuntman had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital and died soon after he was admitted.
"John passed away this week after he was injured doing something he loved, helping tell stories that excite, entertain and give people escape," Gimple said, as he read a statement onstage at the start of the panel. "He helped make movies and shows for people like everybody in this room. John was someone who was beloved in the stunt community, someone who trained other people. He was living the dream and he helped other people do the same thing."
"We didn’t really know if we should do this panel today, but we wanted to be here for you and we wanted to tell you about and show you what we’ve been working on," he continued, before premiering the season eight trailer and taking questions from fans.
"The stuntmen and women are an integral part of the family, especially on our show," star Sam Underwood added. "They are in it with us. We would want to support them the same way we would look after anyone else in the family." Check out the video below to hear more.
Reporting by Philiana Ng.