Last Thursday, The 100 made it clear that nobody was safe, but not all decisions are for the story line. Ricky Whittle, who played the executed Lincoln, said that he chose to quit due to bullying from executive producer Jason Rothenberg.
During an interview about his upcoming show American Gods, which will air on Starz, he explained why his character was killed off. Rothenberg had made his position on the show “untenable,” as every time he received a script there was very little for Lincoln. This did not go unnoticed by fans, who wondered at some points whether there was any point to the show. They were happy to see more focus on him and his relationship with Octavia in Season 3.
— Mashable (@mashable) April 6, 2016
The 100 fans nearly did not have Lincoln this year. He wanted to leave at the end of Season 2, but Warner Brothers and the CW wanted him to stay and refused to let him leave. However, they did understand that he wanted to move on and allowed him to audition for American Gods. He never actually wanted to leave the character behind, but Rothenberg had made Whittle feel belittled. He needed to come out of the show and move on, but he thanks the networks for their support. All the negativity is about one man: the man in charge of The 100.
@THR They need a better showrunner. And then we can just pretend the last couple of episodes never happened.
— VMey (@Freediver3) April 6, 2016
News of The 100 actor being bullied will not be surprising for many fans. Whittle’s mother had previously made claims on Twitter that her son was being bullied and refused to stand down when he fought for himself. She also told Rothenberg everything she thought of him. However, some fans wondered whether he would leave over something like that.
— Just Jared Jr. (@justjaredjr) April 6, 2016
There may have been the opportunity for Whittle to stay on had things been okay between him and Rothenberg. Whittle might never have auditioned for another show, and Lincoln might have been featured on The 100 a lot more. However, he wanted to stand up for himself, and that meant walking away from a show he loved so much; walking away from a character and a cast that had become big parts of his life.
According to E! Online, Whittle also disagreed with the way Lexa was killed. It was not the fact that she was killed — many knew that had to happen considering Alycia Debham-Carey’s position on Fear the Walking Dead—but the way it happened with the stray bullet. Considering the character, Lexa should have gone out in battle. A few episodes earlier, when there was the fight between Lexa and Roan, may have been the better time. Whittle viewed the stray bullet as a weak storyline for the strong character on The 100.
— Nerdist (@nerdist) April 7, 2016
The one thing that Whittle has said is positive about Lexa’s storyline handling is the cause that her death raised awareness for. LGBT fans started donating to The Trevor Project because of how so many felt suicidal due to writing Lexa out, meaning the show joined the “bury your gays” trope.
However, while Whittle commends raising awareness, he has said that bullying on either side has been disappointing. This is something Isaiah Washington also tweeted about. Whittle does not stand for bullies at all, and does not agree with ships hating other ships when it comes to The 100 fans. He wants people to promote it for the positives and not because of all the negatives. Whatever people think of Rothenberg, he wants to see people promoting the show for the good.
@vulture Jason Rothenberg should be fired after everything he’s done to ricky, to fans. He’s a hack showrunner.
— Schrödinger’s Kat (@PinkLillyKat) April 6, 2016
Since telling the story about being bullied, Rothenberg spoke out but did not deny the allegations. He simply said that Whittle is a talented actor and he appreciated the work he did for The 100. Fans are not happy with this, especially considering the way he handled the aftermath of killing Lexa.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]