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[Warning: The following article contains spoilers for episode 307 of The 100, “Thirteen.”]
Jason Rothenberg, creator of The 100, has heard his fans loud and clear.
Having already addressed the controversy surrounding the accidental shooting death of Commander Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey), a fan favorite and beacon for LGBTQ fans of the show, Rothenberg has once again opened up about the issue, this time in a lengthy blog post.
In the post, Rothenberg clearly outlines three reasons why Lexa died: “practical (an actress was leaving the show), creative (it’s a story about reincarnation) and thematic (it’s a show about survival).” With that said, Rothenberg added that he now regrets the manner in which the character was written off the show.
“Despite my reasons, I still write and produce television for the real world where negative and hurtful tropes exist,” he wrote. “And I am very sorry for not recognizing this as fully as I should have. Knowing everything I know now, Lexa’s death would have played out differently.”
In the show, Lexa died mere moments after having sex with series protagonist Clarke Griffin (Eliza Taylor), unintentionally killed by her own right-hand man Titus (Neil Sandilands). Immediately after her death, it was revealed that Lexa, as well as her preceding commanders, was equipped with a high-tech computer chip that promises to fuel the remainder of the show’s third season.
“The thinking behind having the ultimate tragedy follow the ultimate joy was to heighten the drama and underscore the universal fragility of life,” Rothenberg said. “But the end result became something else entirely? —? the perpetuation of the disturbing ‘Bury Your Gays’ trope. Our aggressive promotion of the episode, and of this relationship, only fueled a feeling of betrayal.”
Rothenberg added that The 100 is a show where ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender and other “things that divide us as global citizens today don’t matter,” but the reaction to Lexa’s death has served as a reminder that “the audience takes that ride in the real world? —?where LGBTQ teens face repeated discrimination, often suffer from depression and commit suicide at a rate far higher than their straight peers.”
As for the future of the series, Rothenberg stressed that Clarke will remain greatly impacted by Lexa’s death for the foreseeable future.
“Clarke is experiencing the profound loss of someone she loved, and she’ll carry that loss with her forever,” he said. “My sincerest hope is that any of our fans who saw a part of themselves in the relationship between Clarke and Lexa can take some small comfort in knowing that their love was beautiful and real.”
The 100’s third season resumes on March 31.
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