Modern Family star responds to fan backlash
One of the stars of Modern Family has blamed the media for hyping up the death of a character on the popular sitcom.
In September the show's creator hinted that a "significant character on the series" would be killed off.
But fans were less than impressed when it was revealed on last week's episode that the departing character was Delia 'DeDe' Pritchett, Jay Pritchett's ex-wife and the mother of Claire Dunphy and Mitchell Pritchett.
Played by Shelley Long, the character had only appeared in seven of the show's 214 episodes.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about the backlash, Jesse Tyler Ferguson (who plays Mitchell) defended the show and said DeDe was a "significant" character.
"I heard it very early on and I didn't think it was going to be such a big deal," Ferguson said about the storyline. "I thought we would just handle it as it was another storyline. But it leaked … and then it became this media thing.
"We have very bloodthirsty fans. Also, I feel like the mother of two of the characters that we've grown to love is a pretty significant character. So really, the only drawback is I won't get to work with Shelley Long in the near future."
Ferguson and his co-star, Sarah Hyland, both told THR that there's an even bigger shock in store for Modern Family fans later this year.
"There's a major thing happening this season. It's beyond," Ferguson said.
Hyland added that it will be "bigger thing than the death" and said, "It was a shock, that's for sure."