This wouldn’t be the first time a prominent piece of genre media has distanced itself from the term “zombie.” Perhaps the most significant example was “The Walking Dead,” which drew clear inspiration from classic zombie media but always shied away from that specific term. In that show, the corpses wandering around the countryside were known as Walkers. Sounds pretty straightforward, especially since they offered a reprieve from the then-popular sprinting zombies. However, for “Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman, they avoided the term in order to flesh out (see what we did there?) the comic and show’s worlds.
“We wanted to give you a sense that ‘The Walking Dead’ takes place in a universe where zombie fiction doesn’t exist,” Kirkman explained to talk show host Conan O’Brien. “No one inside ‘The Walking Dead’ has seen a Romero movie, so they can’t get the rules from that. We felt like having people not use that word would separate it from that a little bit, making it a little bit clearer.”