The creator of The 100, Jason Rothenberg, has defended his decision to include the controversial death two weeks ago. LGBT fans were outraged to lose Lexa, but he says that if he rewrote the episode, it would still end with death.
The 100 fans will not be happy, and have already discussed a boycott of future episodes. They feel betrayed and hurt, saying that it continues on the “Bury Your Gays” trope that TV has created over the years. Even though the relationship has always been treated as a normal relationship, like every other heterosexual one on the show, Clexa fans were still angry that Lexa died.
There are a wide range of responses tonight, but we’re grateful for all of them. We love being able to live-tweet with you guys. #The100
— The 100 Writers Room (@The100writers) March 4, 2016
— Jason Rothenberg (@JRothenbergTV) March 4, 2016
Some argue that it was the way it happened. Lexa’s death was a stray bullet meant for Clarke shot by Titus. It had no meaning, as far as they could see, and they likened it to Tara’s death on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. However, like Tara’s death, it is possible that Lexa’s death will serve a bigger purpose for the show’s overall storyline.
Rothenberg has defended his decision, but does say that his actions leading up to the event in The 100 could have been different. He had spent his time praising the relationship, because The 100 is the only show on TV where LGBT couples are normal and accepted without too much pressure or trying. His celebrating the relationship, knowing the death was coming, crushed the fandom and he now sees why she should not have done that.
He is not the first showrunner to be attacked for his decision to kill off a minority character. The Walking Dead may be a show known for killing off everyone, but was attacked when it killed off its minority character, according to io9. The problem is that there are so few minorities on TV as a whole that killing one off is viewed as discriminatory. There are so many other characters than can be killed off instead.
— Variety (@Variety) March 21, 2016
Last year, Supernatural received similar backlash from fans after killing off its only lesbian character, Charlie. Fans were outraged that her death was unwarranted and meaningless. At least when other smaller, but well-loved characters, have been killed off, they have had a bigger part to play. Bobby was killed off during Season 7 but continues to return, while Ellen and Jo Harvelle sacrificed their lives so Dean and Sam could try to kill Lucifer.
The arguments from The 100 fans is that killing off one lesbian character is not the same as killing off a white, straight male. There are plenty of other white, straight males out there and plenty more will come. The only way it would be equal is for there to be just as many lesbian characters on the show. That view is not shared by all fans, but a vast majority of them.
— Eric Goldman (@TheEricGoldman) March 20, 2016
While defending his decision to kill Lexa, Rothenberg said that this was a moment that the whole Season 3 of The 100 was leading to. It was known early on, partially because they knew they only had actress Alycia Debnam-Carey for a short period of time; she is currently on Fear the Walking Dead. He just admits that the build-up and reactions on Twitter before the death were inappropriate.
This is something he will learn from and act on in the future. While there is cause for celebrating the character and her relationship with Clarke, it is important for him to remember the feelings of fans. These may be fictional characters, but they mean so much more to The 100 fans around the world, especially the most vulnerable younger viewers.
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