Saving Hope and many more TV show executive producers have signed “The Lexa Pledge.” It all started due to the controversy The 100 caused with the LGBT community last month.
“Bury Your Gays” has been a trope in TV for a long time. Last year, 19 LGBT characters were killed off across various TV shows and this year so far 14 characters have. All of these are female characters, and the figures do not include the male ones, according to Hypable.
— TheGeoKing (@TheGeoKing) April 25, 2016
While it has happened in the past, this year has angered fans of TV around the world. The most notable anger came from The 100 fans after the accidental and unwarranted death of Lexa. LGBT fans have flocked to the show for Clexa, as the writers promised Clarke and Lexa would continue their relationship. It was a positive one, especially in a show where there is no big deal made about sexuality; everyone is equal in that regard. There were tears of pain and anger when Lexa was killed in Season 3 Episode 9 by a stray bullet.
It started “The Leskru Campaign,” which raised more than $120,000 for The Trevor Project, which helps the LGBT community. While something positive has come out of something negative, the heartache was followed by many other shows within weeks. The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries, Empire, and The Magicians all killed lesbian or bisexual female characters. There was outrage.
— Detricelt (@detricelt) April 25, 2016
This was bad timing. The shows would not have necessarily known what each other were doing. However, it has raised a point that LGBT characters are often the first to die, and often in a senseless way. It has happened before when Tara was killed in Buffy the Vampire Slayer by a stray bullet.
Saving Hope executive producer Noelle Carbone and writer Michelle Mama, along with producer Sonia Hosko decided that enough was enough. It was time to change the way TV did things, and promote LGBT relationships. They put together “The Lexa Pledge,” named after The 100 character that really caused the uproar, and promised to respond to the call for “meaningful change.”
— Hypable (@Hypable) April 27, 2016
The pledge promises that the LGBT characters will have significant arcs and storylines and will not be killed just to further the plot. Of course, for the sake of equality, not killing a LGBT character at all would be taking things too far, but there will be a full reason for it, and it will not further the plot for a straight character. Fans will also not be misled on social media.
The latter seems to be the main point of complaint for The 100 fans. While Lexa was killed off by a stray bullet, it was clear her character would need to go in some way. The actress was leaving to be on Fear the Walking Dead. Her death was not for the sake of a straight character’s storyline as such, but there was some misleading on social media. Jason Rothenberg had spent weeks promoting how forward-thinking and different The 100 was, only to end up killing the character after her first meaningful and happy moment with Clarke.
— ishipbaddass chicks (@ishipbadasschik) April 26, 2016
*Wakes up* okay let’s check what I missed… Oh just the world changing.???????????? #TheLexaPledge
— rin (@matchbox_sized) April 25, 2016
While Saving Hope has started the pledge, 15 TV showrunners and writers have signed “The Lexa Pledge.” Some of these include the co-executive producer of The Catch and co-creator of Rookie Blue.
This is not going to change the industry overnight, and Saving Hope understands that. The difference is the industry is now starting to listen to LGBT fans and do something to help them. It is willing to make some changes to help stop the attacks on primarily lesbian and bisexual characters by creating and signing “The Lexa Pledge.”
[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]