'Modern Family' Stars Responds To Character Death Backlash

WARNING: SPOILERS INSIDE!

Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson has defended the show after fans expressed major disappointment over the death of DeDe Pritchett in the latest episode.

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While promos had teased the death of a 'significant character' prior to airing, fans felt that the death of Jay's ex-wife, the mother of Claire and Mitchell, DeDe was underwhelming.

Of the show's 214 episodes, DeDe -- who was played by Shelly Long -- only appeared in seven.

Ferguson -- who plays Mitchell Pritchett on the hit series -- spoke to The Hollywood Reporter to address the fan reaction following the episode and blamed the media for overhyping the character's death.

“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," he said.

“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,” he added.

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His co-star Sarah Hyland -- who plays his niece Haley Dunphy -- agreed, labelling it a “beautiful episode” with a “tasteful” combination of being both funny and moving.

“There are so many things I loved about that storyline,” she said. “I think especially the idea of a brother and sister having a very different relationship to the family member that has passed and being able to come to solid ground on how they feel."

Ferguson and Hyland also revealed that there's another major plotline set to occur later on this season.

“There's a major thing happening this season. It’s beyond,” Ferguson told THR, simply saying, “it’s big” and, “I think you’ll be surprised”.

Hyland confirmed this “bigger thing than the death” is set to happen this season, only saying that “it was a shock, that's for sure” also promising “there's a lot happening with Haley,” but leaving us hanging for the specifics.

Image: Getty