After Lexa’s death on the March 3 episode of The 100, fans, specifically LGBTQ fans and allies, have been up in arms against show creator, Jason Rothenberg. Lexa, a fan favorite on the show, was an out lesbian, and in the same episode that she finally got to be with her love interest, Clarke, she was later shot and killed. Outraged fans then started multiple hashtags including #LGBTFansDeserveBetter and the topic “CW Stop Jason Rothenberg” trended worldwide today for hours, garnering over 100,000 Tweets.
How did this strong beauty die from a stray bullet!? CW STOP JASON ROTHENBERG pic.twitter.com/RWmCbhma1R— Emma Felton (@e_xx_m) March 13, 2016
Many fans believe Jason Rothenberg killing off Lexa was a slight against LGBTQ characters and by showing Lexa finally entering into a queer relationship and then killing her off, Jason Rothenberg followed a classic trope for LGBTQ characters in media. According to Blaster writer Danny Roth, the “Dead Lesbian Syndrome” or “Bury Your Gays” is a trope that has been on many shows where a queer woman is killed off, often soon after confirming or celebrating their queerness.
The 100 fandom when Jason killed Our Heda Lexa. CW STOP JASON ROTHENBERG the cast and fans deserve better then this pic.twitter.com/6qT0nXjcq6— Emma Felton (@e_xx_m) March 13, 2016
For many fans, Lexa provided representation for the LGBTQ community that they believe isn’t being seen anywhere else. Although Alycia Debnam-Carey, the actress who played Lexa, could only do seven episodes this season because of her role on Fear the Walking Dead, fans still believe Jason Rothenberg should have handled her exit from the show differently.
And it seems the fans are very serious about getting their point across. Not only are they tweeting, but according to io9, Rothenberg has lost more than 10,000 followers since the airing of the episode, and Jason Rothenberg’s follower count is continuing to decrease. Additionally, according to TV by the Numbers, the latest episode of The 100 saw a great decrease in their ratings with only 1.25 million people watching, as compared to the previous episode that had 1.39 million viewers. To be fair, the drop in ratings could be due to many other factors, but if the decrease continues Jason Rothenberg may have something to worry about.
For now, though, Rothenberg is completely comfortable in his decision and understands if fans hate him, but believes Lexa’s death had to happen.
“I loved Lexa,” Jason Rothenberg told Entertainment Weekly. “[But] I felt like the story that we’re telling needed that moment because ultimately we’re telling the story in which reincarnation is possible…and to do that…first you need to die.”
As for why the sex scene between Clarke and Lexa had to happen before Lexa’s death, Jason explained that for Clarke and Lexa it was “goodbye sex” that was meant to be “emotional” and “lovely.” It just so happened that their first time would be their last time, but Rothenberg stated he didn’t want to rush it and he knew he wanted it to happen this season.
Despite Jason Rothenberg’s statements, fans can’t help but feel like the sex scene and the death of Lexa is connected. Fans plan to continue tweeting and using hashtags about the show until they feel their voices have been heard. For now there is one good thing coming from all of this.
Leskru, the LGBTQ supporters and allies behind the hashtags, started a fundraiser to raise money for The Trevor Project to help LGBTQ youth. The organizers’ goal is to reach $40,000 and they’ve already raised $38,576 for their cause.
Although Jason Rothenberg probably didn’t intend to, his choice to kill off Lexa has now sparked a conversation about LGBTQ representation on television and how it could be done better.
[Photo by CW]