An open letter to Jason Rothenberg of ‘The 100’

Dear Mr. Rothenberg,

I don’t watch your show, but I know many individuals who do—individuals who are actively hurting right now.

I also happen to know the signs of emotional manipulation on the part of media creators. Well, I suppose you could say all fiction is emotional manipulation, but there’s a difference between building characters and tensions, and outright pulling the rug out from underneath the feet of your viewers and reveling in the Shock™ you’ve written.

What worries me is that based on your response so far to the criticism surrounding Lexa’s death, you seem to be utterly missing the point. There is certainly always going to be a strong reaction when a “fan favorite” gets killed off, and it’s not wrong to assume that is part of the uproar. But it’s not the totality of it either. And actually, the reason I felt compelled to write this was due to the following quote of yours:

“I don’t even want to talk about the trope that’s out there about LGBT characters; that is not something that factored into the decision [to kill Lexa].”

It boggles my mind to think that you, a media creator in such a position of power, don’t seem to understand what something being a trope actually means. This refers to a pattern of storytelling commonly used in television, books, and movies. And these patterns of writing are shaped by our cultural context. For instance, Twilight was built largely on the hellish Love Triangle trope, which was often found in media targeted at teenage girls in the years following its release.

But here’s the thing, stories that utilize tropes generally aren’t the result of writers sitting down and thinking “HMMMM let me incorporate this nifty difty one” (unless they are, in fact, Rebecca Sugar and making a conscious effort to subvert them). Rather, their writing falls into a familiar storytelling pattern, due to our societal values and what we tend to consume—a pattern we can recognize and label.

“A trope is a storytelling device or convention, a shortcut for describing situations the storyteller can reasonably assume the audience will recognize.” –TV Tropes

This is not always a bad thing, mind you. Many tried and true storytelling devices are still quite effective for an engaging narrative, such as in the case of the “Unlikely/Reluctant Hero,” the “Will They or Won’t They” slowburn tensions, or the “Lampshade Hanging” device found in many a comedy.

On the other hand, some tropes are negative. And a lot can have damning cultural consequences on top of that. For instance, in Game of Thrones, their most recent season played into the concerning trope that “All Abusers are Male”; the three times a man was being clearly abused by a woman (Tommen with Margaery, Bronn with Tyene, and Hizdahr with Dany, if you watch the show) were either played for laughs or presented in a positive light. “It’s just a show!” Well no. The fact is, men who are victims of abuse, particularly at the hands of women, are far less likely to report it, or even talk about it because of our bullshit sexist societal conceptions of strength. Do you think it’s a coincidence that these are the narratives perpetuated, while at the same time men in the United States are 3-10 times more likely to kill themselves than women?

Media matters. And unfortunately for you, nothing can be created in a cultural vacuum, no matter how much you might like to think that you’re above the influence.

Bury Your Gays,” the trope to which you’ve no doubt been alerted, has a long history. And especially when it involves a gay woman, we’re looking at history shaped by the intersection of sexism and homophobia. I’m not saying you cannot kill a lesbian character ever. I’m saying your absolute refusal to have had this trope…what was it? “factor into your decision”? was the problem.

From what I can tell, the biggest outcry has absolutely nothing to do with the mere fact that Lexa ended up dead, though I should say, given that she was the only lesbian in your cast, this is a call worth an eyebrow raise. Also given the history of brutalized gays in media, a call always worth a second-thought. But still, I think a fair amount of your fans saw this coming. In fact, forgive me for saying, but it was so baldly telegraphed that even I managed to see it was coming, doing nothing more than scrolling past the occasional gifset on Tumblr.

There are no doubt cries of “never kill your gays!” from fans, and why not? People are hurting. Plus as I said, is this truly the best possible narrative? I have my doubts.

But I do believe there is a more nuanced point to make here, because I personally find that mentality to be a little too…Closer it Earth-ish. Or at least infantilizing, if you will. In my opinion, and I believe this is what you have been trying to [rather insensitively] articulate, there are times characters can be killed who simply happen to be gay, and that doesn’t mean they are killed as a result of their gayness. I think you are of the mindset that Lexa falls into this, and I am sympathetic to why you believe that, given what you described as your intent: that there was a narrative purpose in her death and a story worth exploring through the resurrection plotline.

However, even if your intent was pure as driven snow, it does not magically make the result infallible. Nor does it make it free of unfortunate implications. The true issue I see, and the point I believe you are heavily missing based on your interviews, is that it was the execution of Lexa’s death that is the biggest problem. And this is for two reasons:

  1. It came within mere minutes of Lexa’s [first, gay] sex scene, and
  2. The manner of Lexa’s death felt completely random, unmotivated, and ultimately cheap for the character you had built.

She was killed by a stray bullet, right? Because “no one is safe” is something you bill your show on?

Look, I truly don’t think you had any sort of malicious intent. But this is why it’s important for media creators to consider the cultural context and to think through all the implications of what they’re writing. Because had you considered the context, you would have realized that LGBT individuals, particularly lesbians, have a long history of media creators continually ripping away the few characters they care about by burying them (hey! that’s the name of the trope!). So given that such a marginalized group with so little representation in shows seem to be continually told the same damn narrative—that the people they relate to will end up dead—perhaps you should have approached Lexa’s death a little more carefully.

Would it have killed you to have Clarke and Lexa hook up just one episode sooner, so maybe for one measly week people who identified with this could have seen that sometimes they can be happy? Or how about twenty minutes? How about anything other than the immediate “they had sex, and here’s the violent and shitty result, which by the way was a direct result of that sex because the bullet was meant for Clarke and Lexa’s only ‘crime’ was loving her.”

Oh and let’s not forget that the guy who fired a gun had been continually telling Lexa that her feelings for Clarke were inappropriate and dangerous (and that her past relationship with a different woman had been a mistake). Because there’s no unfortunate implications the audience can take away from that.

While we’re at it, how in the world was the Stray Bullet of Plot Convenience what you settled on? That didn’t seem hackneyed or anti-climactic to you?

Why didn’t you have Lexa get assassinated? From the social media posts I’ve seen, this was a genuine threat for quite a few episodes, and at least that would have played out with some sort of consideration to her characterization and agency. As would have, I don’t know, her dying in a fight somehow. Or making a heroic sacrifice. Or literally anything else. My understanding is that this was a woman who bested a man twice her size in a fight-to-the-death by catching a goddamned blade with her bare hands, yet instead of killing him chucks a spear right into his spectating mother who had orchestrated that scenario in the first place.

This is the character you created, and yet you seriously mean to tell me that her being a victim of cruel, cruel fate was seriously the best conceivable way for her to die, and a fitting end? Not mention the fact that this was so sloppily done (especially given the bullet’s seemingly non-fatal location and Clarke’s immediate medical attention) that it only served to shatter the suspension of disbelief of your viewers, at least from what I can tell, rather than whatever effect you were hoping for.

What was that effect, by the way? Maximum Shock™ and Angst™? Which is basically you attempting to hurt your audience as much as possible and damn the consequences? Because truly, the timing and arbitrary nature of it become rather difficult to rationalize away. Especially given that it was at the hands of someone who cared for her: the icing on the cake of tawdry drama.

Also, I’m sorry but for especially for someone more disconnected from the show, the whole thing almost transcends drama and becomes comedy due to how nakedly cheap it was. It looks as though Lexa was coming in to borrow a cup of sugar and oh noes!

“Hey Clarke, did I leave my phone charger in here? Zoinks!”

What a twist! How bold. How brave. How stunning.

Okay, I’m getting angry and I shouldn’t be. Because look, I get it. I understand that the “best drama on television” is making a fortune and winning awards off of this utterly shallow style of storytelling, while also “boldly” being as offensive as possible (on every level) and not giving a damn about any implications or criticism. It’s tantalizing to follow suit, especially if that’s a show you find enjoyable. If nothing else, it’s proven to be profitable. I suppose there’s no accounting for taste, though I’m afraid you’ll find few who agree on this site.

If you think “no one is safe” is something deep and interesting, then to each their own. You can certainly write a show exploring that, as you have. But guess what? That doesn’t give you carte blanche to not give a shit about your audience. The empathetic reactions of your viewers need to be taken into consideration, especially when you have so many young, LGBT or questioning individuals watching and getting involved in this relationship. Not to mention, by many accounts, these were viewers that you bent over backwards to get invested, whether extending invites to your set, or promoting (and maybe leaking?) f/f content, or the continual “Clexa”-focused interviews.

It was deadly effective, clearly, because up until last week, you had numerous marginalized teens and young adults who were feeling engaged, feeling represented, and feeling (dare I say it?) hopeful. Which inherently put you in a position of power over them.

I don’t mean to be rude, but you simply cannot understand the experience of being a queer woman, or questioning teen, in today’s society. You cannot imagine having characters that can maybe be counted on one hand (if you’re lucky…I have one finger) who are possible to relate to. And you really can’t imagine what that feels like when it is cruelly torn away.

I’m also wondering if you realize how many LGBT individuals use media as a form of escapism. A lot of us have terrible anxiety, or struggle with depression, or whatever else the result of this toxically homophobic society yields. Make no mistake, gay marriage might now be legal in the States, but not a single day has gone by since I came out seven years ago where I’ve been allowed to forget my sexuality. That’s what it means to be marginalized.

My tone is harsh, and I apologize, but there’s a lot of people around me that are hurt right now. Then to hear you say that you didn’t even consider the cultural context? That “oh it’s not this trope because I didn’t think about it”? It’s infuriating. And quite lacking in self-awareness.

But guess what? This can be good too. It can be a growing opportunity. This strong outcry hopefully has demonstrated to you the power that you wield, and I simply hope that you wield it for good moving forward. I’m not saying to simply never kill off your LGBT characters from now on and you’ll be fine. I’m saying to put forethought into your storytelling. I’m saying to think about the context. Even better, bring voices into your planning/writing rooms who can offer a perspective that might be helpful. Reach out. Listen.

Learn what it feels like to be the 20-year-old lesbian who hasn’t been able to sleep more than three hours this past week. Learn what it feels like to be the 16-year-old questioning student that had to leave school the day after it aired due to panic attacks. I’ve certainly had to talk to both of them, along with others, because of how badly they were hurt by your show. And if this sounds like an overreaction to you, then all I can say is you are very lucky that you’ve never needed to put so much stock in a single character, because you are represented elsewhere.

We don’t all have that luxury.

Kylie is a person on 9/10 occasions. She is an Associate Editor for Fandom Following and a co-host of The Fanwankers podcast.
  • Erin Latimer

    “HMMMM let me incorporate this nifty difty one” lol I love you Kylie

    • I think my fave was the phone charger line, which came as a result of the brilliant commenters on your piece, haha. But seriously, that was just bad logic. “Oh we didn’t consider it so therefore it’s not.” Sure, Jan.

      • Caleb

        That was such a… Moronically privileged way to respond to this situation. JRoth is well on his way to being another D&D. And that’s upsetting to me.

        • GamblingDementor

          The 100 is no GoT though, and I’m hoping that the flak it’s getting might get it cancelled after S3.

          • Caleb

            I mean, on the one hand I don’t want the talented actors/actresses/production teams to be out of a job. On the other I don’t want this show to be holding those same people back by keeping them working on such a toxic narrative. Somebody on Tumblr wanted ADC and Eliza (Lexa and Clarke) to play Xena and Gabrielle in the Xena reboot, I think that would be awesome. But they’d need to be free from their shows (Walking Dead and The 100) in order to do that. So my feelings are mixed on The 100 continuing.

          • GamblingDementor

            It was revealed through several sources that the atmosphere on The 100 is kind of toxic, one actor even called it abusive and SURPRISE his character is dying this season so I dunno.

          • RH

            I remember when the actor first complained and people didnt believe him, now an entire fandom is salivating for him to spill the beans.

          • TrickyNicky

            That’s interesting, and maybe I’ll just not watch the show. (I’m still deciding whether or not I will.) I guess I’ll wait and see how the writers plan to get themselves undocked from this.

          • RH

            Yeah I dont know how much you know about it but The 100 takes a colonialist stance against Grounders. The story arc with the male lead in S3 is downright sickening to watch for anyone whos not a racist.

          • TrickyNicky

            Is it the stance of the writers or the stance of the characters? I only ask because it’s one thing to depict something like that and it’s a whole other thing to endorse it. I know it sounds pedantic, but I’ve never really paid attention for that in my media so I’m kind of at a disadvantage to deciphering that. If it’s endorsement than ok point in favor of not watching it.

          • RH

            Grounders are portrayed as un cultured savages when we meet them, that narrative continues when we learn more about Grounder culture but it shifts into Grounders have brutal methods but thats how they survive and that being a Grounder doesnt make you a savage. Then once S3 turns around we get back into a “all Grounders are bad” narrative.

          • TrickyNicky

            In the words of tv judges everywhere, “I’ll allow it.”

  • Erin Latimer

    but yeah those final two sentences, damn. that’s the core of the issue.

  • Caleb

    *slowclap* Beautiful. Well done Kylie (I still find it weird to call you that, you’ll always be gifs to me).

    • Yeah, my parents still call me “gifs.” They were supportive of the name change though. <3

      Also thank you

  • JayCV

    Excellent article,

  • Mary

    Well said. I haven’t been this upset with a tv show in a long time for disrespecting the characters, actors and viewers. Not sure if that sounds over the top, but when given the response of everyone this last week if seems fair. I think that both Eliza and Aylcia played the hell out of that scene. I’m sad for what the story could have. I haven’t watched this ep and if I do I will stop right before Lexa is murdered. For me it will be how I want to remember them.

    • EmmaD

      The death scene takes place 1 minute and 10 seconds after the love scene, be sure to turn it off realll fast.

  • TrickyNicky

    First off ASCENDED FANON FOR ME! A line I wrote made it to an actual post!

    Ahem, sorry.

    Excellent job Kylie. I agree with every word you write here. Writers, especially SWMW, need to realize that their works are part of the great stew of human…literature? Enh, literature it is. My point is that in this stew every piece of media goes on, no matter how obscure. Some, have great cultural significance and influence the flavor of the stew greatly. Other? A small drop in the pot, but nothing is ever produced from an empty starting pot.

    • It was the best line. The screengrab of that moment is just bitterly hilarious.

      • TrickyNicky

        Thank you.

  • Christina

    I ghostwrote this.

    Let’s not forget that Lexa died to further the story of the man who accidentally murdered her BECAUSE she loved Clarke. To make him LEARN. The part of the story they thought would make up for Lexa’s death is what makes it even worse. I can’t even…

    Also “privilege” is indeed the key word to use when trying to explain something like this to a man like Jroth. My only hope is that he’ll learn from this. He probably won’t, but one can dream.

    Anyway, excellent letter. I laughed way more than I should have. You’re hilarious!

  • glenda

    Wow, just wow. Thank you very much for this. What crushed me the most was that this time I (stupidly) believed that it was going to be different, that this was indeed going to be a groundbreaking show on the LGBTQ front. I praised their courage and boldness so many times. Boy was I wrong…

    • mastedon2

      put your pants on and be the man life intended you to be.

  • Bo

    It is absolutely mind-boggling to think someone who writes a television show would claim a trope didn’t come to mind while writing something like this. Every story ever told revolves at all time around tropes and anyone who has ever sat down to write a story can tell you that. You are either telling one or subverting one at all times. Literally, at all times. Even if it is subconscious because you grew up thinking that trope was normal, you’re still writing that trope. That this trope is so normal in his eyes to claim it never even crossed his mind is probably the root of the problem.

    It is one thing to stand strong against backlash, it is another to be willfully blind to it and ignore it. This whole attitude of “being brave and bold” is such ridiculous justification to ignore criticisms. I hate that it is turning into the new easy excuse. As if it is a weakness to absorb and incorporate criticisms into your work, rather than one of the greatest possible strengths you can have when creating a work.

  • Gretchen Ellis

    Thank you for this, Kylie! Well written, heartfelt, and honest. I hope somehow JRoth manages to see it and perhaps understand a bit more about why it is that people are upset. Like other show writers/producers atm, he seems to be fixated on a single aspect of the situation (THAT Lexa died) rather than listening to what is really troubling people (how, when, and in what context) she died.

    Add to that the fact that one of the other writers/co-producers Javier Grillo-Marxuach has admitted that they did in fact, talk about this trope and believed that their other LGBTQ representation on show would redeem them from their use of the trope (and has admitted they were wrong to do so), and I can’t help but wonder how honest JRoth is being when he says “it didn’t factor into it”.

    • TrickyNicky

      That’s the one thing that gives me hope about this situation. That maybe enough writers are like him in thinking “we done fucked it up.” and that they’ll be able to maybe reign JRoth in and keep him from being as pants on head stupid as he is currently being.

      First step is to of course stop digging himself deeper into the hole.

      • Gretchen Ellis

        “Someone please take that goddamn shovel away from JRoth.”–hopefully every staff writer and producer on the show.

        • TrickyNicky

          Yes! Please, get the shovel away from him. Smack him with it if you have to.

  • Barbara Kateřina

    OK, this is brilliant. Really. I have nothing else to add, I just wanted to say this.

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  • Isabela

    Can I just say I’m so glad to be able to see there are other people who feel like me and get me instead of having people laughing at me for being “too attached to a fictional character” and other shit.

    Another great article, thank you!

  • Philipp

    I really don’t want to be “that” guy but there are also books The 100 is based on and while I know that adaptations tend to falsly portray characters or events but has anyone read this series? Maybe this happens in the books too though in a better and more understanding way by an author who undestands what they’re writing.

    • My understanding is that it’s not the same story anymore. The books end at about the early/midpoint to S2, and are irrelevant to what they’re telling right now. But someone better versed could tell me otherwise.

      • TrickyNicky

        I said in another thread on Gretchen’s review that according to Wikipedia (and same disclaimer as there, “so it must be true!”) that Lexa is fully JRoth and the writer’s invention. She does not appear in the books at all.

        • Remmi

          Just to add… And if I am not mistaken it was Kim’s (Shum something) idea to make her a lesbian.

    • SaturnaliaGirl

      The show and books have nothing in common. Each was created separately and simultaneously without collaboration between the 2 projects. They stemmed from a 2-3 page ”treatment”, like a concept paper about an overall general idea for a story (bunch a teens thrown to Earth). The CW bought the rights to that paper thing and developed the show, conserving the title and the name of a few characters that appeared in the paper thing. The author of the books at the same time went off on her own and wrote a book, completely different (and quite honestly atrocious…I mean Twilight is a Nobel Prize in Lit in comparison!). When the pilot of the series was done, the 1st book had not yet even been published.
      So they don’t intersect, they’re nothing alike. . In the books there is no Lexa, Raven, Indra, Lincoln, Finn, Murphy, Abby is called something else, Jake is alive and called something else. Wells is alive and leads the teens.

      • TrickyNicky

        That’s what I wondered. So very little is in common between the show and the books then?

        • RH

          Certain character names is all they have in common.

          • TrickyNicky

            Thank you.

  • natalie

    as a disabled, Hispanic woman, i find the obsession with representation in the media, narcissistic. a person died and she just so happened to be gay. it’s not an attack against you. GET OVER YOURSELVES. stop watching tv to see yourselves in the characters (i certainly don’t) and start watching it for what is originally created-distraction and entertainment.

    • Caleb

      It’s more than that she died, the manner in which she died was cruel (to the audience). Literally minutes after having sex with a woman, she gets killed by a man trying to kill the person she had sex with because he’s thinks this woman is bad for her. And it is narcissistic to want to see yourself in media, but that doesn’t make it wrong to want that. It’s also valid to feel betrayed and personally wronged when a character you’ve bonded with dies.

    • RFP

      “GET OVER YOURSELVES”

      I´ll be sure to pass that on to all the people who have self harmed because of that episode I’m sure it’ll help

      • natalie

        if people self harm because of a tv show, their parents should be pulling their heads out of their asses and calling the men in white coats, not encouraging this behavior. my god, this generation is full of babies.

        • RFP

          And as you’ve just demonstrated the world is full of assholes

        • Caleb

          I’m trying to phrase this calmly. This comment (and your base comment) feels like you’re of the opinion that people should “Get tougher”. I don’t agree with your standpoint, I feel that these people were led on, that they were told “we’re not going to hurt you” then they were betrayed. So with that in mind you come across to me as a person that’s always been able to push through their problems. I know you’ve said you’re disabled, so I’m trying to not dismiss your struggles. But not everyone has your strength, not everyone is able to move on, not everyone is going to react to hardship the same way you do. Try and remember that as you interact with people.

          • Isabela

            In my mind it’s immature to refuse to listen to people. If people say they hurting, listen to them. Do not dismiss their feelings.

          • TrickyNicky

            To paraphrase Louis C.K. “When someone says they’re hurting, you don’t get to decide that they’re not.”

          • natalie

            i do remember that, but i also expect people to have perspective. people don’t have to know you’re gay but guess what? people do have to know i’m handicapped cause the big ol’ wheelchair gives it away so excuse me if i think people are crying a river over something dumb when some of us have real problems.

          • TrickyNicky

            We’re not playing the oppression olympics here. One person having it better than you do does not mean they aren’t suffering, we could on and on down the line until we eventually find the person that is truly the most suffering person on Earth and let it be known that only they are allowed to be sad and talk about their problems.

          • Caleb

            There, yes, thank you. I had a more thoughtful comment than this (mine not yours) but it got lost to the ether.

    • Isabela

      It’s not your place to tell people how to react to a TV show. Sometimes it’s actually better to stay silent.

  • Ali

    THANK YOU!!!! Thank you for putting everything i’ve been feeling into words. Over the past week I’ve been going over what happened and I kept questioning my feelings because I was afraid that I was overreacting. I kept questioning my own sanity… Repeating to myself “it’s just a character, get over it”and then arguing with myself about how my anger stems from something bigger than the character. You just perfectly worded why I’m feeling so angry, sad, and frustrated. I know it’s not good to seek validation from other ppl but that is what your words have done for me. I feel valid, i feel that my emotions are valid and it made me feel sane.
    So seriously thank you!!

    • Ummmmmmmno

      Just warning you that you are overreacting. There are other LGBT characters in the show. Lexa wasn’t the strongest character. She was a coward. Which showed in her past actions. It’s a tv show. Get over it. Real life is gonna hit you real hard if this is what gets to you.

      • Avery

        Did you ever stop to think that maybe life has hit many of us hard already? And maybe because we’ve been hit hard, that’s why we hope so desperately for an escape like this? It may be fiction, but fiction always carries a message to the audience. In the case of this trope, it tells us that if you’re gay, you don’t get a happy ending.

        Try and have some empathy. Grow up, and stop shaming people for feeling something.

      • TrickyNicky

        I’m going to repeat myself, but to again paraphrase Louis C.K. “When someone tells you that they’re hurting, you don’t get to tell them that they’re not.”

      • CleverDetective

        And don’t you think, quite possibly, you’re also overreacting to other people’s overreactions? And, no, Lexa wasn’t a coward, and for you to glean that trait from her actions shows you have no grasp whatsoever on the ability to analyze characters. Which isn’t a surprise considering your shallow approach to the topic at hand.

        People are going to have different reactions to TV shows. Get over it. If you can’t accept other people having different opinions to your own, then real life is going to slap you in the face. Or quite possibly an actual person will slap you in the face.

        So before you go and tell other people to stop being emotional, maybe you should take your own advice first? To go out of your way to look for a subject you have no understanding of and one which you hate due to this lack of understanding, all in order to leave a negative comment, shows what a poor little person you are.

        • Bailey Good

          LOL! You have the nerve to say other people have the right to an opinion yet you are bashing her for having an opinion! The writers have a right to write a show how they want…who are you or anyone else to bash and get angry at them because you don’t like it? Pot meet kettle.

        • Bailey Good

          Oh and don’t say I looked for a subject I have no understanding of! I am a lesbian. I have lived a life FILLED with fear and shame. That being said, I still don’t fathom how anyone can be THIS PISSED and cause such a major hissy fit all because they disagree with how a writer wrote a friggen show! It’s done. It happened. It’s over. It’s never gonna change. Letting this fill your life with rage is unhealthy and useless. Move on. Nothing can turn back time and change the show. The end.

          • HumanityIsCancer

            And we have yet another person ranting on the rants of other people. Yes, some of these fans went too far with their behavior. Yes, perhaps they are behaving in a very emotional fashion. But they were baited. It’s obvious the show runner was looking for viewers amongst the LGBT community. And yes, they have a right to be pissed about how the director used marketing techniques to lure them in only to kill an important character using cliche storytelling.

            Telling other people how they SHOULD feel is going beyond being an asshole. Some people are going to react to things they don’t like in abhorrent ways, that is the sad fact of the internet. To stoop down to their level shows you are no better than them and are filled with just as much hate.

            These sorts of comments only add more logs to the fire, sis. If you believe they are reacting in an overblown fashion, be better than them and provide some intellectual AND tactful feedback. I admit I’m not the best role model because I usually enjoy mocking people until their heads explode, but I believe this specific matter does require a more delicate approach.

            To some young people, Lexa was their hero and to see her hit by the cliche bullet all because she loved another woman devastated many. You may not view it this way, but that’s the message some viewers received. And for you to deny them their voice all because you think they’re being little bitches speaks volumes of the kind of person that you are.

          • Bailey Good

            Like I said, I’m a lesbian. MANY friends I have of the LGBT community see this the same way I do. I’m reacting to this on behalf of myself and my friends, not to stoop to their behavior but because their kind of behavior is going to cost a show low ratings and possibly cancellation by boycotting the show, the sponsors and the CW. Yes, that IS overboard behavior. This is unfair to us REAL fans who appreciate the whole story, the characters, all the actors amazing talent and the plot, (not just the LGBT characters) will lose a show due to this! This is also unfair and disrespectful to all the other actors on the show. #1-Alycia is spreading her wings and taking on other acting opportunities. Wish her well and be happy for her, not angry because her lesbian character died! The whole cast has amazing talent and could possibly lose their jobs due to cancellation all because of some pissed off people. They are only thinking about their hurt feelings, not the big picture. I, as most mature people, don’t watch shows or seek shows that have LGBT characters. Most people, like myself, watch certain shows because they have a plot or story line we are interested in. If I’m looking for shows and movies of the LGBT nature, I switch to the channel that focuses on that. Also, with our community behaving this way, other shows are now going to be extremely hesitant about having any LGBT characters. They won’t want to tip toe through their writing and deal with all this drama and their ratings being plummeted. So, avoidance is the best way to handle it. All that being said, Lexa WAS NOT killed because she loved another woman or anything to do with lesbianism whatsoever! She was shot because 2 leaders being in love would cloud their judgements or certain decisions that had to be made for each side. Titus stressed that MANY times! He never said Clarke isn’t good for you because she is a woman. It would have been the same if it was Clarke and a male who was leaving the show due to another commitment and contract to another show. See? This is a perfect example of how fans see, mold and interpret things in order to fit their complaints. If they are actually interpreting Lexa was killed only because she loved a woman, that is not good. It had irony. Titus was so against Clarke and how she was causing Lexa to make decisions sometimes based on Clarke’s opinions because she loved her. Titus hated that. He didn’t agree with Clarke’s way of thinking. He wanted Clarke dead and Lexa back to the old Lexa. Ironically, he shot Lexa instead by accident with a bullet intended for Clarke and lost her. Clarke, the one he hated and wanted dead, lived. No lesbian conspiracy there people. One last thing regarding “queerbaiting.” When the show was being advertised and discussed on Twitter and interviews with Jason and other writers, it was because at the time of those interviews, Lexa and Clarke were going to be a couple on the show. No plans of killing her off. It wasn’t until Alycia was offered a role on FWD that things changed. She took the offer and after she was contracted in, the 2 networks couldn’t come up with a schedule that would allow her to do both shows. They negotiated for a while but couldn’t come up with an agreement. If you go back and read all the old articles you will see that’s the case but again, that’s ignored and twisted into “queerbaiting.” As Jason said himself, he had no idea this would cause such a huge ordeal. Alycia stated the same.

            So, that is why I wrote my letter.

          • Christina

            Jroth lured young queer people into watching this show, promising that Lexa as well as the “Clexa” relationship would be treated with respect, that things would be different this time, only to have it end in tragedy once again. One of the people working on the show interacted with people on a lesbian forum, promising that Lexa would NOT die, despite knowing the whole time that her death had in fact already been written in the script.

            They wrote her death in order to cause pain. They wanted the audience to hurt. They succeeded. They promoted Lexa and “Clexa” for almost a year in order to cause buzz and draw attention to the show. Jorth used their relationship for ratings while planning to kill Lexa all along.

            Queer fans told Jroth and the writers how much Lexa meant to them. They begged him not to kill her. The KNEW about the “Bury Your Gays Trope.” Javi, one of the writers, confirmed this. Jroth confirmed this himself in interviews and in the Dropship podcast, excusing Lexa’s death the same way you are excusing it. The only thing Jroth is sad about is that they haven’t gotten away with it. I’m not buying his so-called apology letter for one second.

            And it seems that you have been manipulated by their excuses. Others have not, though. And those you haven’t are not simply entitled, fake, angry fans who have gone too far. They are not forcing people into boycotting the show. People are choosing to do that on their own. And they have every right to. They are people who deserve better representation. As do you. Even though you don’t feel that way.

          • TrickyNicky

            JRot’s apology was an apology that people felt hurt, not an apology for what he did to hurt people. There’s a difference and it’s why the apology falls flat to so many people like you and me.

            And it’s unequivocal that the writer’s room used and abused the LGBT community. Who goes onto a Lesbians Only forum to tell them that 307 was where Bellarke died and Clexa became OTP? Who maliciously lies about the storyline just to keep the ratings up? Dickheads, that’s who.

          • Christina

            Shit, I remember that too, now that you mention it. God. The person who wrote that said after the fact that they were told to do so, correct?Either way… dickheads indeed.

            And I agree completely! Jroth’s apology did fall flat. Especially since he published the whole thing a few days before WonderCon. PR much? Not to mention that he still stands by Lexa’s death. The only thing he said he would change, is perhaps they way she died.

            That doesn’t make it much better. Killing Lexa is still killing the only lesbian rep. on the show (well, besides Niylah, who was only seen sleeping with Clarke, and then beaten up for it, which… ha… how great). It’s Burying Your Gays regardless.

          • Bailey Good

            I will be tactful and intelligent and say that unfortunately, many of you are not seeing the correct picture here. I believe you are looking at things differently than what it is intended to be. I have no idea where anyone is seeing that Lexa was shot because she loved another woman. It baffles me to no end. Again, I will repeat in a polite manner that Titus didn’t like Clarke and wanted her dead because she was a leader as was Lexa and was changing Lexa’s ways of seeing things and ruling her people. According to Titus, it clouded her judgement because they did love each other. It was conflict in his eyes. Whether it were a m/f couple or f/f couple, that person would have died. Due to Titus disliking Clarke because she was changing Lexa in a way he didn’t like. When and where did he or anyone else in the show or related to the show say he wanted her dead “because she was in love with another woman?” I would like proof of this. Titus made it clear time and time again he didn’t like the conflict with the decisions and judgements being made due to love clouding all of it. “Love” clouding it, not “lesbian love.” There was no conspiracy here nor anyone intentionally killing her because of her sexual orientation. Again, Alycia had to leave the show due to her commitment to another show. Also, the commanders death (whether male or female) needed to happen in order for them to progress to the next level of the story. They needed her chip and spirit to go to the next commander. What is wrong with that? It’s a great and interesting storyline. I’m speaking out just as others who agree with me have said. We don’t want out favorite tv show cancelled all because a large group of people were angry. It’s not fair to us fans who watch it for the good storyline, effects and talented actors we are fans of. The 100 is a refreshing change from so many of the same stories from so many shows. This was all said in a polite tone just to be clear. I’m only explaining what happened in the Clexa story.

          • Christina

            You watched Lexa die and didn’t feel anything substantial because of it. Fine. You can choose to ignore the fact that Lexa and Titus’ story can be seen as one huge allegory for homophobia all you want. Fine. But that doesn’t change the fact that the implication is there. Whether that was intentional or not.

            You may disagree all you want. You may say that The 100 is the best show ever, and that it doesn’t deserve to be criticised. But don’t tell others that they’re wrong for feeling hurt – or worse. As a lesbian yourself, you should know better than to dismiss the feelings of fellow queer people. I am very disappointed.

          • HumanityIsCancer

            I appreciate the points you have made, and I do agree with a few of them, but it’s obvious this plot twist was pulled out of JRoth’s ass. He even admitted he had no idea where the show was going nor how he was going to tie all the different stories together. But after collaborating with his team and knowing Lexa’s actress had obligations to another show, they devised the alien-doohicky looking tentacle device to weave all the stories together.

            Perhaps the intent was different from what others have perceived, but that’s just how creative works… well.. WORK. People consume the information provided to them and draw their own conclusions. That is the BEAUTY of creative works. Sure, people may come to far-out conclusions or focus on only certain bits of information, but that’s just what you risk when you put a creative work ou there. Look at what’s-his-name’s “Blurred Lines” song. According to him, the ‘rapey’ lyrics weren’t his intent, but that’s the message some received.

            All in all, feel free to put your opinion out there but don’t belittle others for how they received the message. Unless you’re trolling, of course. But that’s a whole other can of worms lol

      • Ali

        1. i don’t appreciate your infantilizing tone
        2. Believe me I know abt the hardships of life… statistically my life is hard.. i’m more likely to be beaten, raped, to live in poverty, and to live with mental illness, etc.
        3. what’s your problem man? My comment was innocent. All I wanted was to voice how I was feeling… Why do you have the need to come tell me that it’s just a tv show that my anger is invalid… I have enough of that from ppl in real life.
        4. IM not overreacting. My entire life consists of telling me to get “over it” that person didn’t mean to offend me when they say that my love is disgusting. I know ppl hate me for being born as I was, and I don’t want media to be perpetuating a hurtful message that affects ppl who are younger or in a situation that’s more at risk…

        I know that growing up I felt scared bc media kept telling me that ppl hate me and that ppl want to kill me. I know that for me there was no boogie man but there was homophobic ppl ready to take my life if given the chance. As a kid I watched this movie where a gay kid got tortured and subsequently died of those injuries (it was based on Matthew shepard’s story look it up) and that movie haunted me for the rest of my life. I’m not saying that it wasnt an important story to tell, I’m saying that for the longest time that was the only image I had of homosexuality. I was around 8 years old when I watched that movie and I was scared even if I didn’t fully understand my sexual orientation at the time. Now that i’m older I still don’t understand why ppl hate me so much? I still don’t understand why ppl want to make an 8 year old cry and feel scared 24/7.
        What I’m saying is media has the power to affect ppl. I’ve dealt with depression, and anxiety my whole life. And I know that part of it stems from my fears born out of growing up gay in this society.

        I just want better representation of lgbt life and identity bc I don’t want other 8 years old out there to feel like I did.. I hate seeing news of kids committing suicide, it breaks my heart bc I know we are still failing as a society. And media has the power to uphold this oppression or change it for the better. That’s why I’m angry. That’s why i’m outraged.

  • Sengachi

    Thank you for articulating so well why this hurt us. It means a lot to me.

  • RFP

    Thanks for this. It was brilliant and a mirror of my own thoughts and feelings

  • Meeh

    This is priceless. Hope he’s gonna learn something from that.

  • Yep, you put it all into words.

  • Michelle

    This was awesome letter! Thank you for writing this.

    Something I want to rant about: I don’t understand why they had to kill Lexa in the first place! They could’ve taken Clarke & Co. to some long journey away from Polis (and left Lexa there ALIVE) and Arkadia. And they could’ve been on that journey as long as it takes until Alycia could come back to play as Lexa (recent rumours/news tell me that Alycia would have wanted to come back in s4). This way we would have known that Lexa is alive but offscreen and the story would be focused on Clarkes adventures until she can reunite with Lexa once again. Ugh its not that hard to come up with these ideas..

    • Isabela

      There were a thousand ways to keep her alive (and from a business pov why would you kill such a great character played by such a great actress? I don’t get it!). But Jason really wanted to kill her. He didn’t care enough and he completely misunderstood his audience.

    • RH

      One of the aspects she died was for the second ALIE chip. The problem as we saw is that the Grounders dont understand anything about it. So why did the story require for us to see the second ALIE chip from this perspective when they cant give us any real answers?

      • TrickyNicky

        I’m less angry about this aspect (granted, SWMW here, let’s see the privilege flying high) as opposed to being angry as to the how it happened, and the unfortunate implications of it. I can see how her death will allow them to advance the storyline (from what has been explained to me, forgive me I haven’t seen the show) and also bring two storylines together. I can accept an LGBT+ character dying if it’s appropriate to their character and if it’s done in a respectful way in regards to tropes. What I can’t accept is randomly shooting a lesbian with an accidental bullet.

        • RH

          From Jasons perspective it does and I dont know how much has been explained to you about the mythology but there is a way that existed for them to draw the parallel between the second chip & the commander that doesnt require Lexa to die. Jason also said she had to die for us to see the “reincarnation” aspect of the Commander spirit (which is actually a computer chip that the Grounders dont understand). The thing to remember is that we dont need Lexa to die to see it, as we know being the Commander isnt a long term thing so they could have had Lexa be overthrown after S2 (Jason actually tweeted she was done after her final S2 episode) install a different commander who then gets killed, Titus takes the chip out, boom we are at the same point.

          • TrickyNicky

            And I agree that there were other ways to go about this. You can see me in a couple different posts about this whole fuck up talking about how there were other ways to do this. What you will also see me saying is that if the *how* of the fuck up was different then it wouldn’t have necessarily been a fuck up. I firmly believe had the juxtaposition of the sex scene and the mindless death scene not been there, a lot of anguish would have been avoided. It’s the how, when, and seemingly why that I disagree with. Not necessarily the “what” if you understand what I’m saying.

          • RH

            Agreed all Lexa needed was a meaningful death & either no sex scene or in a different episode and really there isnt a fuck up here, people would still be upset but there wouldnt be this.

          • TrickyNicky

            I agree with you there. Another episode at the least between sex and death. Otherwise it’s stupid and malicious.

          • Isabela

            They could have shown us the scar on Lexa’s neck during the sex scene and then used flashbacks to show Lexa’s conclave with a different actress playing a younger Lexa. There were many ways really. It was not a last minute thing, they didn’t have to change things that were already shot or something. They had a lot of time to think about this and they actually came up with the most harmful decision. It’s weird but also very telling.

          • RH

            Dont forget he lied about only having her for 7 episodes when Alycia was in Australia for 2 months between The 100 & Fear

          • Isabela

            Oh I’m not forgetting that any time soon… And there’s also the fact that ADC actually came back for the finale. So, yeah, there’s a lot of loose ends here.

          • TrickyNicky

            Was that really a lie? I mean, even actors need breaks, and while first world problems sure, but acting can take a lot out of a person, but who knows, I’m willing to be wrong.

          • Isabela

            I’m might be confusing things because I didn’t listen to the podcast but I think the lie is that he said that ADC had to go straight from The 100 to shoot FTW but she actually went on vacations after shooting 3×07. But you’re right, maybe ADC wanted a break too.

          • TrickyNicky

            And don’t get me wrong, if it was a lie call him out on it every day of the week and twice on Sunday. I have no qualms about being wrong.

        • Cordelia

          To me her sudden bullet death was almost because we were tricked (in a good? way).
          None of us were expecting it to happen since it seemed everything was worked out to allow her to live. Then boom, we’re shocked with her totally random and unneccesary death.
          Really the whole show is filled with characters dieing randomly, it’s no surprise another one did.

          Me and a friend were talking when it happened, and we both said that it’s almost nice it was a surprise. This let us feel more emotion and frustration with her death. I would have never cried or been nearly as upset if it was built up to her death, and there are quite a few people I’ve talked to that see it the same way.

          I dunno, I guess it depends on the person and how emotionally in to shows they get. 😛

          • TrickyNicky

            No, it was not a good way to trick their viewers. This trope has a long and bloody history and to play the LGBT+ community in such a way is actively harmful. Shocking != well written. There’s a good way to write a twist and there’s a bad way to write a twist. This was appallingly bad. To the point that people are now no longer ignoring plot holes and inconsistencies. This is where you can tell when someone shits the bed horribly, people start noticing the other shit you’ve pulled.

    • myname

      Literally… the only reason they killed her off was because she signed a contract with AMC for Fear the Walking Dead and AMC don’t let their actors do other shows. Why don’t people understand this????

      • TrickyNicky

        Because that’s pretty much not true? And Jason said that AMC was a pleasure to work with?

      • Michelle

        It is you who don’t understand the facts here. Go educate yourself and come back when you get it.

  • Mary

    Fantastic article! Thank you for expressing it in such an eloquent, well reasoned manner. It’s been fascinating seeing the reactions by other fans, and those related to the show. I’ve come to the conclusion that most see ‘LGBT’ as an umbrella, and fail to realize that each letter represents a group with their own pains, tropes, histories, and needs. I honestly think the writers figured that since their writing of Clarke as a bisexual woman was halfway decent, they were ok. I think that educating people as to the uniqueness of each group may go a long way, but I do hope that writers, producers, and other television people realize the importance of writing strong queer women in their shows, and never using them as a plot device.

  • Neta Sterner

    Excellent article, clear and to the point.

  • rosehustle1

    I’m going to say something that has been bugging me about JRoth and D and D’s response to criticism. They think ‘it’s just a show’ or ‘there are things in the real world we should focus on’ but their ratings depend on us as fans being emotionally invested in the worlds they create. They cannot have it both ways. It wasn’t just a show when they got all those viewers tuning in every week and pushing their ratings up. It’s okay as long as the fans are on their side, then they’re all for us asking questions about different characters or visiting their panels at Comic Con. The minute the fans are rightfully angry about the cheap treatment of beloved characters, arcs, and whole plot lines, and let the creators know it, that;s when Roth and D and D become willfully ignorant, unapologetic, and completely dismissive. All I have to say is, pride comes before the fall.

    • TrickyNicky

      I do have this to say about the difference between GoT and The 100, Roth’s second in command is a true trooper in taking on and accepting the righteous anger that fans a slinging at him. If you look at his tumblr it’s full of him either responding to asks about this shitstorm, or him just letting the fans vent through the ask box.

      • Caleb

        And that’s encouraging, if it also then translates into a better writing from him in the future this dark cloud will have had a silver lining. It still could have easily been avoided all together (as the comments on these three articles show, there were other ways to tell this story), but it’s nice to see at least some of the The 100 team are admitting that mistakes were made.

        • Remmi

          I am actually curious if those who admitted their mistakes are being flaked for apologising. I wonder if that’s why the others refuse to acknowledged the shit storm they caused. Or yeah.. It was their damn pride getting in the way of it all.

      • rosehustle1

        Oh, I agree that the second in command is handling this miles better. He is humble and willing to listen to the fans. He is using his platform to have a meaningful dialogue with the fans. I wish more were like him in the industry. It’s still pretty bad that the major show runner is not treating the situation with the same sensitivity. I wasn’t personally invested in Clexa but I can empathize with the LGBT viewers that felt that the rug was once again pulled from under them. I feel something similar when black characters are consistently killed off The Walking Dead, and often replaced with new black characters, as if the show runners look at all black people the same. It’s terrible to feel that who you are, as a person, can be trivialized or played for shock when it suits the plot. They could have handled the entire situation with Lexa differently just by having more space between the sexual intimacy and the actual death. I personally feel the last three episodes have been dragging and having them get together earlier would have given the season more momentum.

  • dragonlady

    As an adult of this orientation I too have looked to fiction and shows for a forms of escapism. After a long day of work, it’s good to go into stories you like. I just started watching The 100 after being alerted to the Clexa relationship from tumblr (I was looking for Korrasami pics from The Legend of Korra, I guess only show live action or otherwise where the gay couple stays living!). Kids it’s gonna be okay. I’m not going to pretend to say I know everything you’re going through anxiety-wise or not, and in this world we’ve all suffered stupid crap from others pushing it on us. Good show or not, it is just that, a show. The writers could have understood their symbols a bit more but you need to calm down alittle. It literally is not the end of the world.

  • Batman

    This is beautiful. Thank you.

  • Pingback: 8 Fictional Lesbian Representations We Deserve (That Don’t Bury Our Gays) - Fandom Following()

  • Ginny

    That was absolutely brilliant. I really hope he reads this article, you summed it up perfectly and in a respectful way. Thank you for this.

  • whatever

    you know what guys? I’m really impressed with how you all approach this issue. Really impressed with all those articles.

    The thing that surprised me the most in many reviews is that: well Lexa was fully developed character, because she was more than “just a lesbian”, so this is not a dead lesbian trope.

    I would probably agree with that, but this one episode completely dismissed this notion for me. The 100 took this trope to a whole new level! And it happened because the writers didn’t want to recognize what this trope really means. And most importantly they completely ignored the fact that this show is part of one, big, pop culture universe. And in this universe, Buffy exists. And with Buffy also that infamous scene (infamous for a reason).

    Again…how can you ignore this?

    • RH

      The fact that Lexa was “more than a lesbian” means her sexuality shouldnt have factored in any way to how she died, which as we saw it did. Titus “didnt approve” of Lexa & Clarkes relationship hence why he acted how he did.

  • Caleb

    Found this bit of encouraging news, reblogged from one of the people I follow: raedmagdon. /post/140756540817/im-wondering-something-and-i-hope-you-wont-mind (Insert tumblr(dot)com into the space)

    It’s the writers (two of them anyway) admitting that they messed up, and taking the time to listen to the criticism of what happened.

    • RH

      The other writers are taking this how theyre supposed to. They made a grave error even if ultimately this was all Jasons idea.

      • Caleb

        Yeah, I’m glad that it’s not a GoT circle of idiocy and head burying. I’m hopeful that these writers will learn from this mistake (which is what it is), and become more empathetic people and more conscientious writers.

        • TrickyNicky

          This is really encouraging to me, people being able to admit their fuck ups is rare these days it seems.

        • RH

          I just dont get how they thought ending a ship after so much buildup in 5 minutes was a good idea.

  • Kate

    thank you so much for this article, we need a voice, support is so important.

  • XanDany

    What is mind-boggling is that JRoth is just dumbfounded that no one is talking about his “twist” of the commander and the AI being connected- that is what they hyped up for the entire week before. He does not understand why EVERYONE (including reviewers) is focusing on Lexa’s death. Newsflash: If people aren’t talking about your “twist”.. that should be a sign. The arrogance of thinking that his writing is SO good and the plot SO good would trump this trope.. I have no words.

    I won’t even get into the baiting of fans to go see them film the finale in Vancouver. He knew full well those pictures from the set would leak out, giving people hope that Lexa would be alive through the finale.

    • helgasbattleax

      The “twist” finally gave relevance to the City of Light/jaha storyline that has been draaaaaging on for a year. And honestly, if Lexa’s death hadn’t been so soulcrushing, I’d be pretty impressed by how all the plot lines have finally converged. However, characters trump plots every day, no matter how clever the plots might be. And Commander Lexa was a lion of a character. A righteous, badass, who was learning that love was strength and trying to lead her people to a better world. And who happened to be young, casually queer, woman. She was a symbol of hope and exactly the kind of hero we need in media right now and sadly we may not see her like again for another 15 years.

  • kimbo

    THANK YOU.

  • rara

    I’ve watched four women characters who have identified as LGBT die in the past year and a half alone. All the writers from these shows have stated they did not have the intention of perpetuating this Dead Lesbian trope.but just because it wasn’t their intention does not allow them off the hook

  • Marija

    amazing, amazing, amazing.
    All this sadness and frustration in me is exhausting, thank you for this, it helped.

  • helgasbattleax

    Thank you for writing this. I’ve been having trouble getting my own thoughts into any sort of coherent form, but you touched on a lot of what I’ve been feeling.

  • Remmi

    When I thought I have said everything I could about that episode, but then I read more articles that helped me processed it all the more. Thank you for this.

  • nicole

    sooo accurate just started crying again reading this as it brought back everything I’ve been thinking all week. Lexa was my absolute favourite character on any show and her relationship with Clarke would literally be something I thought about/ read stories about/ watched fan videos about since maybe that first kiss. great perspective and articulate response hopefully some of the shows creators can see this!

  • Sora Riley

    the last paragraph and concluding line. shit. that was good. well done.

    Sometimes I feel invasive for being in the Clexa fandom because I’m not a lesbian. I am, however, a young trans kid, and because we’re probably decades away from a trans person being the main character of a tv show (or dating the main character), I latched on to Lexa too. The Friday after the episode aired was one of the worst depression days I’d had in a while.

    • Remmi

      Don’t be. Clexa fandom is for everyone. Don’t matter if you are LGBT or not. Let us support each other after this trying times. 🙂

    • TrickyNicky

      Dog, I don’t even watch the show and I was breathing fire when this crap went down.

    • Cordelia

      If the death of a character has caused you to regress in to depression, maybe you should talk to someone?
      And I don’t mean this to be rude either, if something as small as that can set it off then getting it in check is the best thing to do before it spirals out of control.

      Depression is no laughing matter and when it gets to the point where small things can set it off, well that’s just no good haha. 🙂

      • TrickyNicky

        “Depression is no laughing matter” “haha”

        What is the truth?

        When someone says they’re hurting, you don’t get to tell them they’re not, nor do you get to tell them to just get over it.

        • Cordelia

          Putting “haha” at the end to add some lightheartedness and not seem naggy isn’t even close to laughing at depression.
          Look I can do it too! “tell them” “to just get over it”. How rude of you to say. 🙁

          All sarcasticness aside…
          The entire reason I suggested going to talk to someone is because depression is so difficult to control on your own, and is nearly impossible to snap out of.
          I’ve seen too many people seriouslly injure themselves, and they’ve admitted later on that if they were given the suggestion to go to a trusted indivdual and just /talk/ about it would have prevented so much suffering.

          Sometimes people don’t think of small yet big things that can help when in that state of mind.
          Nothing wrong with a little “hey, here’s an option. :)”.

      • Bailey Good

        Thank you Cordelia for seeing what many of us see. I’ve worked in the field of psychology for many, many years and this particular ordeal, for lack of a better word, was actually a topic of discussion in our recent assembly. There is great concern about people resorting to cutting, hurting themselves or falling into depression over the death of a fictional TV character. Depression and cutting/ hurting yourself is a very serious matter and anyone who does that should seek help for whatever the reason may be, before something very serious and irreversible happens. We see this type of behavior due to extreme issues such as; the death of a loved one, divorce, abuse, alcohol or drug addiction, physical and/or mental bullying and so on. Behavior of this nature because of tv shows due to a favorite characters death, a beloved tv couple splitting up or a favorite character simply leaving the show is very concerning. If this were a role model such as a favorite artist, actor,politician etc it would be more understandable because they are real life people we look up to. Our heroes. We love who they are and what they do. So, when they betray or hurt their fans die to various reasons, it’s a real thing. Very hurtful as they aren’t the people you thought they were. In a TV show, these are fictional charters made up through the imagination of the writers of the show. They aren’t real. Their stories of love, death and heartbreak are written through someone’s imagination. Not meant to hurt anyone at all. They don’t set out to hurt people of the LGBT community nor people of color, race or religion. A story is written, actors are casted and people from every single walk of life dies, falls in love, breaks up, gets beat up and whatever else the story holds. Anyways, I hope eventually people will stop and realize that this is fiction. It’s not real life. Please get help if you are hurting yourself or fell into depression over this. I fear how true life hardships or tragedies will be handled if only a TV show has done this much damage.

    • Angel

      Do you know the Netflix show Sense8? A transwoman is part of the main cast; the actress is also trans. To my surprise, it subverted all my expectations and all the main characters survived the first season. ^^ I love it!

      There’s also Orange Is The New Black (also Netflix) of course, but I assume you’ve probably already heard of it.

      (Sorry that this comment is so temporally weird, but I was just reading the comments here and figured I’d recommend it. 🙂 )

  • Trae

    Oh hey, your article was quoted on IBTimes.

    Don’t know if anyone’s seen the latest episode but… damn, they didn’t even pass the Bechdel test, and opens up with two gratuitous murders as it slowly sinks into GoT murk.

    I’m furious that ‘Previously on…’ didn’t even mention her death. The message I’m getting from the latest episode is “Love redeems, but only if you’re straight.” 🙁

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  • alexxkidd

    So,killing of a lesbian character because the actress could not keep on playing it because her other show (FoTWD) got renewed is wrong.Ok,I guess you are new to tv then..Also,having the lead character of the show,Clarke,being lesbian AND one of the most complex tv characters around counts for nothing?? I know a lot of you are overreacting right know cause you are upset your favourite character died,BUT please do not cross the line and instead of criticising you end up bullying the writers!You think a show could do better?Great,go ahead and write one yourselves,nothing stops you .For me ,killing such a brave warrior like Lexa in the most non-heroic way was excellent.Having her getting killed in a battle of something would be cool but predictable.

    • Caleb

      Okay I’ll bite and go through this point by point.

      1) Lexa dying because the actress had to leave. She didn’t need to die for this to work out, people on this comments page and the other articles have pointed out other ways for this to have worked out without killing Lexa.

      2) Clarke not counting (and being a lesbian). Clarke is canonically bisexual, and that counts for something, sure. But so does all of her female hookups/romances thus far getting beaten up or shot dead. Also the issue is (partly) with the timing of Lexa’s death, not just the existence of her death.

      3) Bullying the writers. Anytime a fan favorite dies there is a backlash and people do start yelling. But this article and the comments have been pretty fair for the most part and kept to the topic and criticized the writing and not going down to personal attacks when making their points.

      4) Write one yourself. Many of the people on this site (be they in the comments or writing these articles) are also fanfic/professional writers. The issue is that a show that reached thousands of people took the lazy way out and buried the gay. We can write all we want, but very few of us will ever have the kind of influence the show has.

      5) Lexa dying out of combat was satisfying for me. Okay, cool, glad you liked the random bullet of plot. A lot of us didn’t, and felt it was disrespectful of Lexa’s character, and a poor way to send her off. You can like what you like, but don’t expect us to be happy that she died this way. Also predictable =/= bad, everyone knows that Superman will save the day in the end, doesn’t mean it’s less satisfying when he does (if written correctly obviously).

      I hope this clears up where some of us are coming from. Have a pleasant day. 🙂

      • alexxkidd

        Listen,I see your point,,it is correct in some ways.This is where I disagree with you.The show takes place in a post-apocalyptic world and it has a bleak tone,morally speaking (don’t forget that Lexa,the “beloved” character essentially made Clarke to freak out and cause a genocide last season,she was cool but far from an ideal person,and that is why I liked her non-heroic death.There are no heroes in that world-besides Murphy-lol).Another thing is that Lexa was not the main character.Clarke is.Lexa was there as a plotting device for Clarke’s character,that is why she was written,to form Clarke’s.Also,I don’t have an issue with people saying their opinion about a work of fiction if it is done with arguments,but I think you are a bit overreacting ,and that’s because Lexa’s death happened in the middle of the season and not the end,so there are 8 more episodes to collude this year’s story.It would be cool to form an opinion after the end,it’s like speaking about a movie in the middle of it.Who knows,Lexa’s death could become the best thing the show has ever done,or the worst.But it is not over yet,far from it.Sorry if sound a bit rude,not my intention ,I’m not the biggest 100 fan in the world (I enjoy it though and will continue).It’s just that I always find it funny when people get upset about a fictional character that comes out of some writer’s mind,I mean it is his mind child,his character.As for the LGBT criticism ,the 100 hardly has any serious depth for these matters,sexuality is much more well explored in other works of fiction,like in the excellent Sense8 for example from the Wachowski sisters

        • rosehustle1

          I think your main misstep here is telling someone else that they’re ‘overreacting’. It’s on par with a man telling a woman she’s being hysterical. It’s dismissive and insensitive. I wasn’t invested in Clexa ( I am heterosexual) but I can understand why this affected many young people of the LGBTQ community. And again the media we consume does not happen in a vacuum. Perception becomes reality. If you always see people like you being murdered and never getting a chance to have relationships without the threat of death, it can affect the way you view yourself, and how society views you. You may come from a position of privilege that allows you not to feel marginalized in terms of your sexual orientation but that is not the reality of many people who were invested in this character and her relationship. Just because you don’t understand the feelings of the people here doesn’t make their reaction any less valid than yours.

          • alexxkidd

            I can assure you I do not come from a position of privilege,far from it,but thanks for speculating about my life – lol.When I speak about overreacting,I’m not speaking about people’s feelings but about their critical view.I too had many beloved fictional characters killed and wanted to smash my tv.Of course I understand people’s feelings well.But that does not mean they can attack a writer (again,I’m not speaking about this specific article,it is very well written and in a civilized manner).What I’m trying to say is that a work of fiction is what it is and the writers must not write based on people’s feelings.LOST did this and it got really,really bad,thankfully the lesson was taught and The Leftovers does not give a f@ck about people and is amazing.People are entitled to their opinion,but the writers must have their ears closed.It’s like telling the GoT people that burning Shireen Baratheon is the worst thing ever.Of course it was,and that was the point,and it didn’t happen just for the sake of it,it was done in comparison to Daenerys Targaryen accepting her own “child”,Drogon.What I’m saying is,someone must form an opinion about the whole picture,not just about a specific event. When the season is over,I’ll be happy to discuss it again.Hope I got myself understood with my poorly written English!

          • rosehustle1

            Everyone has some position of privilege. Privilege is not just socio-economic status, sexual orientation, race, religion, or gender. For example, privilege can be that you are not disabled and are often able to easily utilize services that people who are disabled, often discover are difficult to use. In that circumstance, you never have to think about how you would get out of a seat or walk to a building because society is built for you. Privilege is not having to think about how that could be difficult for someone who is disabled, because society is setup for the majority who aren’t. Privilege can be having access to education and knowledge when someone else has been denied that. Privilege is many facets. I say this because everyone carries some privilege and benefits from it on some level, even when they may not agree with it’s detrimental effects on marginalized groups, they still may benefit from being the majority. I don’t know you personally or how you identify in terms of orientation, but my point is, that this stuff does matter to people who are often marginalized because of the normative heterosexual perspective that is often upheld in media. No one here is attacking the writers but they are be open with their pain at having a cheap trope used, once again, in a show that they felt was trying to do something different. No one here says that the writers shouldn’t tell the story they want to tell but they are saying that if they are going to tell it, then really look at the way you tell it. There was no reason to have the death come right after the sex scene. There was no reason that Lexa had to die in a way that was illogical (a bullet wound to the stomach would not kill her that fast) and there was no reason that she even had to be killed off. She could have decided to leave or even faked her death (another overused trope) but it at least leaves open the possibility of that character being able to still be alive. There were many options but they took the easiest with the most unfortunate implications.

    • RH

      Killing her in a non-heroic way turned her from a badass character who just happened to be a lesbian to yet another lesbian on TV who dies a mundane death. The writers knew what they were doing with this trope but got arrogant so they deserve to be criticized for it. Secondly Clarke isnt a lesbian, shes bi the easiest sexuality to write for on TV to get praise for being “progressive”. This death was always going to have an outcry when it happened but Jason & the showrunners did themselves no favors by misleading people to believe Lexa was alive in the finale by shooting Lexa/Clarke scenes publicly. There was no shock to Lexa dying so the show going for “shock value” by having the sex scene & death scene back to back is in particularly bad taste.

      • alexxkidd

        To be fair,Lexa is never mentioned as a lesbian.She could be bi,we never really learned her sexual background .As for the sex/death scenes,it was done to develop Clarke’s character.As for the good taste of bad ,not great for me but then again,it’s a CW show,hardly Emmy material,so it was ok as long as it was effective.What I really love about the show is that each person Clarke has had sex with has died,it is so awesome-lol

        • RH

          Strongly disagree. This doesnt develop Clarkes character at all. Her quest for peace was always unwavering before or after she met Lexa. All it does is give Clarke more pain to ignore and get over because “her people” cant function without her. Why would anyone bother getting invested in Clarkes happiness when we know that unless its Bellamy whoever the LI will just die. Thats not to say Clarke needs a LI for happiness but The 100 only lets its characters be happy when theres a LI around and that wont change IMO.

        • Remmi

          She has been acknowledged by writers (Kim forgot-her-last-name) as a lesbian.on the other hand… IMHO, this is what’s wrong. Jrothberg and his mouth. Saying he is not like the others, blah blah, positive LGBT presentation, blah blah… Which was true until th point it came to 3×07, and it is kind of hard not to react the way people did when you start connecting the dots, that “sh*t, we got played”.

  • terhdjhftkjgyk

    …First lesbian sex scene? I’m pretty sure there were at least 3 lesbian sex scenes so far, at least two with lex, and Clark got it on with that random grounder who kept her hidden. I think one was even in the end of season 2, I remember because it threw me off since Clark seemed into guys in the first season then all the sudden she got it on with a girl like it was something she did all the time. So I don’t really think this applies within the “you have lesbian sex for the first time then you die right away” trope. And as someone someone who actually follows the storyline, I know that only Lex’s body died, her mind is still the AI chip, so she’ll be back to get it on with Clark by next season probably, in a different body of course.

    • Theorist

      What show were you watching? There were only TWO sapphic sex scenes. First in episode 1 then episode 7, and all of them are in season 3. End of season 2? Hahah x2. End of season 2, they committed mass genocide. Who has the time shacking up with someone as the mountain people’s faces were melted? Lexa left Clarke and the sky people after making a deal for her people’s safe return. Obviously, you did not watch. Being straight is not a default sexuality, mind you. If you noticed Clarke in first season, you would know her reaction when Octavia undressed herself. Bisexuality exists. If you’re not a part of LGBT community and say that trope does not apply, shush. Even if you are, you must be living under the rock. What you can do is be an ally and listen. If LGBT people say it does apply, then it does. You’ve never been in their place. You don’t sound like you actually follow the storyline. Even if you do, what right do you have to say that trope does not apply? Huh? Piss off. You must be a troll. That AI storyline was messed up. Lexa’s in CoL. Her mind is not in AI chip. That’s ALIE 2.0 She won’t get back with Clarke. Because the showrunner has already started gunning for the other pairing. The male lead with her.

  • GreenGirl

    Great letter. Won’t do any good, but thank you for putting it out there. All the male trolls I’ve been unfortunately battling with over this issue won’t ever get it – because of precisely some of your key arguments, but kudos to your for trying. If only more people TRIED instead of being apathetic, the world would be a much better place.

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  • What happened to Lexa really sucks.. Hopefully they bring on board another LGBT character or a few to fill the void. And maybe this time, they can not kill off a character this cheaply again.. Or better yet, lets introduce at least 1 to 2 permanent LGBT characters that won’t get killed off (like Clarke and Bellamy whom seem like main permanent characters). I expected Lexa to go out in an epic battle.. not some stupid stray bullet..

  • Derek Parnell

    Great letter. Definitely on point. I started watching The 100 from episode one when it first aired, but after a few episodes, decided it wasn’t worth my time. Later, I came across Lexa and Clarke in GIFs and thought it could be the start of something good. So I rewatched from S01E01 to catch up and was delighted with the potential of Lexa’s character, and the relationship with Clarke. Yes, this is going to be a good story, I thought. And I’m not convinced that I was wrong. Rothenberg has lost all my respect now due to this asinine destruction of the only good reason to continue watching this series.

  • Ummmmmmmno

    This makes me physically cringe it’s so unecessesary and you are all just begging for attention. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what you’re getting. It’s a TV show. Grow up.

  • jbedr1989

    This is just ridiculous. As a gay individual myself yes I was devastated when Lexa died but Jason did nothing wrong. He could have killed her off in a more noble way but he gave Clarke and her a lot of touching scenes. Love the 100 and will keep watching. Hope people can stop whining.

  • Katy Weaver

    This was such a well-written article and every point was hit on the nose. I completely agree with all your points. Being part of the LGBT community, it’s very rare we to get to see characters like ourselves interact in any type of romantic way. When we do get that, it’s hard to ever get a happy ending and that’s the worst part. Don’t we all just want to feel normal and feel accepted? Lately it’s seemed as if writers won’t allow a happy ending for people like us and that makes us feel like we don’t have a voice or we never get to feel like how others do when characters represent their sexuality on screen. I’m not saying it’s never been done, but it’s rare. I think we’ve sparked something though by constantly talking about it and helping one another and that is truly the best thing that has come from this horrific experience.

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  • da_nibbler

    great post. That last paragraph made me cry while reading.

  • Creampuff40

    Thank you so much for this article. I feel so happy knowing that at least some other people are listening and understanding the problem….. Thank you for writing such a wonderful, thoughtful, and articulate response for us all. I hope that he listens…… I mean I don’t expect it at all because well clearly that is largely the issue here, but this article was awesome.

  • morganwashere

    I admit that I would not care about this show if it weren’t for Lexa. I started to follow this show solely because of Lexa. I don’t care about the bigger plot honestly. Maybe they are great, but not that out-of-this-world storyline. Sci-fi / post-apocalyptic world is an overused genre by now. Nobody is safe? Nothing new there. We are in the era where the main character ends up dead (e.g. Walter White), the protagonist is anti-hero (e.g. Dr. House).

    I’ve seen my fair share of my favorite characters end up dead. Was I upset? Yes. Did I go through a period of grieving? Yes, the full stage. Deep down I always know that when there is character I like on some shows, I shouldn’t like that character too much because when something wrong happens with him/her, I have to go through that. Again.
    But, I couldn’t help following the show (read: Lexa) because her character is interesting (for me). The fandom is passionate and super creative about anything Lexa. Lexa unites these people from around the world online.

    I partially blame Alycia for being too good at portraying Lexa / Heda. If she didn’t, I would not have a hard time to let her character go. With her eyes and little facial expression, she captured the character’s persona and the hearts of many fans. Remember few quotes of her? “blood must have blood” or “love is weakness”? It is hard not to notice her character. I partially blame the showrunner because they gave me false hope. When I watched 3×07, I was happy to know that Lexa will still be in few more episodes of season 3. I heard the speculation about her death among fans, but I kept telling myself that at least it won’t be in season 3, she will be in the finale.

    I thought about it and I came into this assumption: (1) they need the fans to really really love the character in order to achieve the intended shock value. If the character sucks, fans will actually hope for the character to be written off. (2) They need the fans to be unsuspicious about when the death will occur, especially when some fans have speculated about her death. The first condition is really all me. But, the second, don’t tell me that the showrunner and the team did not implicitly led the fans to believe something they knew it’s not going to happen? They need the fans to be in ‘right’ state of mind to achieve the intended shock value. I know that all the good things come to an end, but a little more time never hurts. I guess that love IS weakness after all.

  • Bailey Good

    Ok, I know I’m going to get mutilated for this but it’s really, really bothering me so I need to let it out! First let me start off by saying I’m a lesbian. No one can say I don’t understand because I do! However, I am thinking clearly and being reasonable.

    Alycia (Lexa) had a commitment to another show which you all know, therefore, she couldn’t just quit her other role because fans didn’t want Lexa to die on this show! But, you all got so pissed off because was killed off. Umm, it isn’t anyone’s right to complain about what show Alycia should choose to be on or what JR should write in his storyline! Yes, you are mad because your favorite character died but Finn was my fave and I was mad but, I’m not sitting here causing a big ass stink because I didn’t like the way he died. EVERYONE is mad at various storylines and deaths but that’s how it goes with every tv show or movie. We start to watch a show not knowing where it’s going to go. It’s IMPOSSIBLE for writers to write a show in which every viewer is pleased with the entire storyline! NEVER going to happen! They can’t please everyone and your complaints, anger or displeasure is no different than anyone else’s over a favorite character dying or how they died, etc. Why do you act like your complaints and displeasure are above anyone else’s?

    ***Again, the reason Lexa is gone is because Alycia was contracted into another show! Simple. As. That.*** JR didn’t lie…he told us what he knew to be true at the times of his interviews. This is a FACT which I know from an extra on the set who is also a friend of Paige. Everyone was sad to see her go but wished her well and said their tearful goodbyes. My friend said she was a sweetheart. JR was told by AMC that they would try to work with Alycia’s 100 schedule so she could to both shows. At the time she made her contract with FOTWD her schedule wasn’t set up yet. He had hoped it would work out ok. (He did love Lexa’s character). Sadly, It turned out to be too much with her having to travel to different film locations between the 2 shows and the schedule times overlapped. Unfortunately, she had to leave the 100. He explained this in NUMEROUS interviews yet you choose to leave that info out as if they didn’t happen. Why? She left to pursue and expand her acting career. How dare anyone be pissed and blame JR? He didn’t fire her! He didn’t purposely kill her character off just because he wanted it part of the story line. He had no other choice. Get the facts first before causing such a raucous. It’s so simple yet you are all making the LGBT community look like a bunch a dramatic cry babies. I’m embarrassed as I don’t want to be seen as such.

    Further more, Lexa isn’t the only gay character! There is that gay male couple. Clarke is bi and that other woman Nyla (spelling?) Is either a lesbian or bi. How can anyone say “They killed off the only gay character! Ummm?

    Next, you say they killed Lexa right after her and Clarke were intimate. Well, her and Clarke shared a kiss in Season 2….They also spent so much time together and talked and shared their secrets and fears, etc. They grew emotionally close. We were able to feel their love and passion for each other.. They did connect. Just because they had sex and Lexa died a few minutes after doesn’t mean they killed her right after they made a romantic connection. Sex isn’t the only “connection” 2 people share. They were already connected back in season 2. I highly respect Alycia and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

    Next, i see how you didn’t like the way in which she died. Yea, it sucked and she deserved a more triumpmat death but like someone else on here said, that would have been very predictable. It’s what I expected. The way it happened was a surprise and something different than the usual predictable story. Plus, many of us hated the way Finn died or how Lincoln was tortured or how Clarke killed thousands including innocent children and the list goes on and on of things people didn’t like. Are they making this much noise? No! Why? Because it’s a TV show!! If someone doesn’t like the direction it’s going in, turn the channel.

    It’s VERY scary to know people actually self harm themselves over a fictional t.v. show. Instead of bashing and blaming the writers, get some help to learn how to cope in a safe manner. I mean that in a sincere way. I don’t know how else to say it politely but….that’s a very serious issue that shouldn’t be taken lightly. I had Friends who did this for extreme reasons. I was someone who did this as well but it was because of my father dying or being bullied and beat up in school. I got help for it. If a fictional TV show is driving people to do that, I suggest anyone in this category or who has a friend who does this (for any reason), to seek help immediately!

    One last thing~ I know we love seeing LGBT characters falling in love and living romantically through them. Seeing the happy endings, etc. If this is what you are looking for there are many, many t.v. shows now as well as the gay lesbian network. I find them much more satisfying and interesting anyways. Either way, two each his own. We all have a right to an opinion. I just won’t ever understand the big dramatic ordeal over the Lexa thing. It’s so extreme and like I said earlier, I am embarrassed that people in our community would behave like this and give us a bad name. This kind of attention seeking only adds fuel!

    No need for hate comments please. I already know everything you would say so no need to repeat it. I won’t be coming back on this thread anyways. It only angers me to see the immaturity and this “everything is about me” attention seeking behavior. I apologize to the people who disagree with the topic of this thread. Please know I’m not a part of it….

  • Bailey Good

    P.S. I’m seriously shocked how some people automatically assume and jump the gun thinking everything is about the LGBT community! OMG PEOPLE, when Titus was saying Clarke wasn’t good for Lexa it had NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT SHE IS A WOMAN!!!! Whether it was a male, female or an alien; he simply meant it was bad because they were both leaders of their people. The 2 of them being close may affect the way things are done or how rules might change because feelings get in the way. That’s it. Simple. No conspiracy or plan to bash their lesbian relationship! Hellooooo? Are you serious?

  • Patty

    It is all about publicity and, oh yes lets not forget about the money.. Thank you for writing the words many can not express, thank you!

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  • Brenna

    It’s so much bigger than just Lexa. Over 100 THOUSAND dollars has been raised for the Trevor Project now, a glimmer of hope for us all. It’s terrible putting your trust into a show and having it continually instilled into you and then ripped out in a cruel and careless manner. Especially in a show like The 100, where so many characters have survived impossible injuries, it seems insane for two commanders in a row to die from a bullet – and even more so for Lexa’s death to happen mere minutes after a sex scene (the first same sex one in the show’s history). It’s lazy writing and while Alycia had to leave the show, her character appeared in only one more episode last season than she will this one and she didn’t have to die at all, let alone in such a heinous way.

    • Cordelia

      The Clarke and Lexa sex scene was most definitely not the first same sex sex scene in the show.
      In season 2 episode 1, “Wanheda Part 1” Clarke and Niylah have sex, who, obviouslly, are both girls.

      So many people seem to be forgetting about that scene…

      • NotSoEvilPanda

        Lol because of course what all us gays want is to see same-sex kissing and sex. Niylah, Lexa, what’s the difference, right? Gay is gay. You’re probably one of those people who can’t fathom why we aren’t happy to still have Bryan and Miller. They’re gay, so why don’t we just watch them?

        As though being queer, we aren’t invested in an actual love story being told. one that goes deeper than a one night stand at the trading post. That we wouldn’t have been happy to not see the sex in 307 if it only meant a lead lesbian couple would be happy on tv just for ONCE.

        God, I wish disqus would stop sending me notifications of these ignorant comments. It ruins my mood each time to see how many people are out there just not fucking getting it and feeling they have a right to comment and vilify this movement without bothering to even understand it’s roots.

        Hopefully I can fucking unsubscribe from this thread.

        • Cordelia

          Sorry to burst your bubble but I’ve had more same sex relationships than straight ones.
          And I was commenting to what Brenna said: “mere minutes after a sex scene (the first same sex one in the show’s history)”, because it is false, and I’ve seen the same thing posted so many times before to justify their anger.

          And no, I don’t think “we should be happy” with Bryan and Miller’s relationship.
          I think we should take Lexa’s death as just what it is- another character death.
          Because that’s all it is. There’s no need to base your bloody life and emotional wellbeing on characters, it’s absolutely ridiculous.

          • NotSoEvilPanda

            Some of the most harmful and recklessly shared opinions on this matter have come from within the LGBT community.

            So ‘bubble’ still in tact. Thank you so much for your concern though.

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  • Nina Müller

    Sorry but I do believe that the Lexa fans are overreacting. I don’t think Lexa should have been ‘saved’ because of her sexuality. If she had been straight, she still would have died since she is after all the commander and her death means that there will be chaos (which is good) and the wasn’t an innocent lamb either! She was after all responsible for the genocide in Mount Weather and she was completly ruthless. The last couple of episodes were awesome, her death DID add something to the plot. In fact I don’t see another way the show could have continued without it because now there are so many things that can happen. Look I get that fans get really sad and invested. When I watch a telivison show 95% of the time – no screw that 99% of the time my OTP doesn’t happen or my favourite character dies. I get it, it is sad. But it is fiction. And you have to distinguish it from reality. If you miss the pairing so much then just read or write fanfictions. Yes there should probably be more LGBT characters on televison, but I actually feel like there are a lot of them out there already(compared to what television used to be), watch “Orange is the new black” for example. But equality also means that the LGBT characters don’t get special treatment. Everybody can die in a show like the 100, and that is what is making it a great show. I also don’t agree with your comment about GOT (did you also not watch that show?) I think it’s rather ridiculous. Men abusing women is a far bigger problem (happens more often) than women abusing men. I don’t mean it doesn’t happen, and yes it is just as bad but the examples you mentioned in GOT -> Bronn and Tyene are laughable. I very much doubt that Bronn minded the treatment he got from Tyene^^ same goes for Tommen who is having sex with Margeary willingly(!) (yes I know she uses him but he isn’t ABused) You can’t seriously compare that with what for example Ramsay did to Sansa. Yes there are times when the females are the abusers, for example Ramay+girlfriend against Theon. And THAT is not painted in a romantic light in the show.

    • NotSoEvilPanda

      lgbtfansdeservebetter.com

      Why don’t you go read and see what this is really about.
      Maybe you understand or maybe you continue to dismiss this very real issue like so many others.

    • RH

      Educate yourself before running your mouth. She died for nothing.

      • LucyGoosey

        I’m a HUGE fan of the 100. I was devastated to see my favorite character go as well but, she is extremely talented and deserves all the roles she can get and wants right now. She’s at her prime. ADC had another show she was committed to when she left the 100. This is why she had to leave. She is expanding her horizons which she has a right to! She isn’t going to quit FTWD just because some people don’t want their favorite character dead. Give her some respect as a wonderful and talented actress and beautiful woman, inside and out. I’m just so happy we were introduced to her. I will keep my eye out for her in the future for tv shows or movies.They didn’t kick her off the show or come up with some sort of conspiracy because she was a lesbian. Furthermore, there wasn’t any lies. ADC probably didn’t want any hate thrown at her for taking a vacation break so they came up with that excuse. I’m sure her schedule was crazy and exhausting and she knew FTWD would be another busy endervourthe p so she needed a mental and physical break between the 2. We should think about all the possibilities, not just the one thing that angers us.

        Thank you Alycia for your hard work and for sharing your talent with us fans! We love you! Best of luck on your new projects. xoxo

        • RH

          Thanks for missing the point.

          • Christina

            Exactly. Smh.

        • Christina

          How many times do we have to say this?

          ADC neither wanted or had to leave The 100. She’s never said that. Quite the opposite in fact. She just couldn’t become a series regular because of FtWD. She could have come back for a couple of episodes in S4 and beyond, but Jason chose to kill her character off to further the AI storyline and show how “fragile life is”. That was a choice HE made. Not ADC.

          Jroth might be blaming his bad storytelling choices on ADC, but that doesn’t mean that we have to, too. Everyone loves ADC. She’s an amazing actress. Jroth, however, loured a queer audience to The 100 and then decided to kill of the only lesbian on the show. To cause pain. To evoke an emotional response in an already fragile community.

          Lexa was killed by a bullet meant for Clarke. Meant for Clarke, because Titus disapproved of their love. She died for loving Clarke.

          It was not the writers’ intent for people to see it as her dying for loving a woman specifically, but that doesn’t matter. The implication is there. It is also present in almost every single show that includes queer characters, and it has caused severe trauma to many queer viewers of The 100.

          And neither you nor anyone else has any right to shame them for it.

    • Christina
  • Hope Theisen-Claxton

    While I understand and have compassion for the hurt that is being expressed over Lexa’s death and the connection many fans feel for her, I wish the writer of the article above had actually watched the show before commenting. He writes that Lexa’s character is killed off quickly after her first lesbian encounter with Clarke. Any fan of the show can tell him that they have been in love for a long time, one of the reasons why Clarke was so hurt at Lexa’s choice to desert her at Mount Weather.

    • RH

      What show are you watching? 307 was Lexa & Clarkes first encounter. Yeah you can argue they were in love but that doesnt make it an encounter.

      • LucyGoosey

        So, what you are saying is that all the other beautiful moments where Lexa and Clarke bonded, spent time together and shared each other’s feelings, fears and secrets weren’t worth anything? That’s what makes a relationship grow. Those were all the beautiful moments to watch. Are you saying the “sex” scene was what “proved” their love? Ummm, Clarke had sex with Nyliah and there was no love there. Stop trying to fit square pegs in round holes to fit your point. There was violence from ALL cultures sweetheart, not just LGBT. Blacks, whites,the elderly, men, women, even children…it’s a TV show. I’m gay so don’t accuse me of being scared of anyone! I also realize that every tv show and movie out there has violence against all cultures, race, religion and sexual orientation. I understand it’s merely a fictional tv show for entertainment, not to live and base my real life through. I’m with the other fans who are saying the real fans are getting screwed by ratings falling due to this extreme behavior. The “real” fans need to stick together so we don’t lose one of our favorite tv shows because of a group of pissed off people. I also with those who said it’s very disrespectful to the other great actors on the show. So, keep pushing the square pegs. The realistic fans know the truth. Cheers!

        • TrickyNicky

          Now we’re accusing people of not being real fans because they don’t like being used and abused? That’s a good one. The lesbian dying trope has a history, whether you want to admit it or not, and Jason’s and the writer’s room’s actions in the build up were unconscionable.

          • RH

            You can always stop the Bellarkers every time the “real fans” argument comes out.

    • TrickyNicky

      And what article did you read? No “he’s” here a), and b) she didn’t say it was Lexa and Clarke’s first encounter, but that it was Lexa’s first gay sex scene and the first f/f sex scene that had more meaning than a one night stand between two characters.

    • LucyGoosey

      My last ramble regarding this issue. Yes,I agree, they showed so much love for each other in many scenes and many other ways than just sex. The way they looked at each other and how they shared so much of their true selves. They opened their hearts to each other and discussed their fears, their lost loved ones, their pain, their lives, etc… The sex was another component of their love, not the only part. It seems as though everyone is focusing on the sex scene as being the proof of their “true love” for each other however, long before Lexa, Clarke had sex with Nyliah. Just because they had sex does that mean they loved each other? No. We know Lexa and Clarke loved each other long before they had sex. So, Nyliah vs. Lexa. Who did Clarke love? Lexa. And how do we know she did? Not because of the sex but because of all the pre-episodes showing their relationship and love for each other growing. I don’t understand why everyone is focusing on the sex so much. After Clarke had sex with Nylaih that was it. They didn’t have any before or after relationship. One night only. Did Clarke use her? Why isn’t anyone twisting and turning that into something big and maybe complaining that the show portrays that “girls are used for sex?” See? We can turn anything into a big issue. However, each storyline has a purpose. Maybe in the future Clarke falls for Nyliah and she’s the one that helps Clarke get through the pain of Lexa’s death. Or, maybe Luna will. Lexa needed to die #1-she was taking on another show and leaving anyways and #2-her dying was a big piece of the future story. I hated it too when she died and was very sad she was gone but It had to be done for the next portion of the story line. The chip being taken by Titus and making Clarke the flamekeeper to get it to Luna, etc etc. So much more ro come! I pray everyday that this show isn’t cancelled due to this raucous.

  • Cordelia

    Okay so I feel comfortable sharing my opinion because I guess I’m “part of community”.
    Seriouslly, people are overreacting so bad. Lexa was an amazing character, and it honestly made my heart happy seeing such a powerful, lesbian character. But she was bound to die. The show had been teasing us for a long time about the possiblity and tons of viewers called it long ago that it’ll happen eventually. It’s awesome that they had her in the show, and that her and Clarke had their romantic moments.
    Her death had nothing to do with her sexuality, and it’s baffling that people either think that was why or that they should have kept her simply because of it. When you start keeping characters just because they fit as the “token -choose here- minority”, the characters become more of a check-box than anything.
    One of the great (or terrifying?) parts of this show is that nobody, or at least very few characters, are safe.

    • RH

      Since when is it up to you to decide how other people interpret a TV show? The reason why shows dont have love & death scenes back to back is because it promotes the old horror movie trope that premarital sex is evil and if you engage in it you will be punished afterwards, which is exactly what happened in the episode. The fact the writers were so arrogant they thought Clarke & Millers existence would make it ok for them to do the “bury your gays” trope so just the icing on the cake. Ignorance is bliss for you I guess.

      • Christina

        Amen.

    • Christina

      Lexa was killed by a bullet meant for Clarke. Meant for Clarke, because Titus disapproved of their love. She died for loving Clarke.

      It was not the writers’ intent for people to see it as her dying for loving a woman specifically, but that doesn’t matter. The implication is there. It is also present in almost every single show that includes queer characters, and it has caused severe trauma to many queer viewers of The 100.

      Especially since they were promised that things would be better this time. That Lexa would not die. One of the people working on the show explicitly said, that if people didn’t trust the writers of the show not to kill Lexa, they needed to seek help.

      Not to mention that the show (S3 in particular) is filled with more horrible implications. Lincoln’s death in particular. The show has many problems. You may love it, that’s well within your right. But it is not perfect. And no, Lexa was not “bound to die”. She didn’t have to die at all. But she did. And with that the show lost its biggest selling point.

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  • wndrwalls

    No offense, but “Fear the Walking Dead” is banal mimicry, hashing up tired tropes of the last decade in film and T.V. There are only so many ways to pit a small group of survivors against a metropolitan army of zombies. And while “The 100” isn’t going to amass a slew of awards, it was, at the very least, an uniquely original story with vibrant, multidimensional characters shot in a beautifully idyllic environment. Alycia Debnam-Carey is a rising star who is sure to go on to magnificent works in T.V. and film. It is just unfortunate that she was advised to prioritize a flash in the pan show that, mark my words, will not last nearly as many seasons. The 100 is far superior in so many ways and audiences will soon be tired of the monotony of FTWD. Good luck to Carey in her career, but she is obviously already sorely missed by such an ardent and vocal fan base. Let’s hope that any profound and complex characters she plays in the future aren’t summarily dismissed so easily.
    RIP Lexa

    • RH

      I dont know if Id say a show that condones violence against people with a different culture than your own because they scare you is superior to anything.

  • Bailey Good

    Read what Alycia said. People should respect her decision and take her advice. This is proof for (only) those who claimed it wasn’t true that she had to leave for FTWD. Those who said Jason lied about it. I found this interview on Variety. This is her part of the article:

    During the PaleyFest panel for AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead,” the series that necessitated her exit from “The 100,” Debnam-Carey weighed in on the fan reaction to Lexa’s untimely demise.

    “It’s incredible how passionate the fans are, and that’s really why the show is doing so well and why I have so much faith and passion for it in the first place,” she told Variety on the red carpet. “I think what’s important to note on my behalf is that the death of Lexa came out of a place of creative freedom and positivity. [For] everyone on board, Lexa was a character that we created together and collaborated on and were fond of.”

    RELATED
    The 100 — “Bitter Harvest” — Image HU306b_0239 — Pictured (L-R): Alycia Debnam-Carey as Lexa, and Eliza Taylor as Clarke — Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved
    Why the Controversial Death on ‘The 100’ Matters

    Debnam-Carey reiterated that her series regular role on “Fear” meant that she couldn’t commit to an extended arc on The CW drama. “I obviously had other obligations in my work life and I hope that people know that this wasn’t a social attack on anyone or any social movement,” she said. “It’s a difficult thing, but as long as people love the show and are passionate about Lexa, I think that’s really what matters.”

    When told that a number of fans have announced their intention to stop watching “The 100” and start following “Fear the Walking Dead” in the wake of Lexa’s death, the Australian actress insisted that both shows are worthy of viewers’ time.

    “I mean, watch ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ because we’d love your support, but I think ‘The 100’ is such a great show; it was a great show before I got there, it’s only getting better and I’m so lucky I got to be a part of it,” she insisted. “I think it deserves that support. Getting a reaction like that out of people, for good or for bad, I think is an incredible thing, so if it can make you feel that way, why stop watching it? It’s an amazing group of people and I don’t think they deserve to be deserted, because they are so great at what they do.”

    Amen Alycia! Don’t stop watching just because she died. There is so much more to the show and the cast. They don’t deserve to be punished or deserted due to Lexa’s death and angry fans. I feel so bad for them. 🙁

    • Christina

      ADC is an actress first and foremost. Of course she won’t encourage people to stop watching a show she’s worked on. Not only for the sake of the friends she made on set, but for her own reputation in the industry.

      And no. She neither wanted or had to leave The 100. She’s never said that. Quite the opposite in fact. She just couldn’t become a series regular because of FtWD. She could have come back for a couple of episodes in S4 and beyond, but Jason chose to kill her character off to further the AI storyline and show how “fragile life is”. That was a choice HE made. Not ADC.

      Fans are not responsible for actors’ jobs. If they need to stop watching the show for the sake of their mental health, they have every right to. The 100 is problematic to say the least. Especially now in S3, which is filled with unfortunate implications. You can check out the reviews on this site if you want to learn more about that. You may end up disagreeing, and that’s fine, but people are allowed to criticise the show without being gaslighted or shamed for it.

      This is not about unfair, “angry fans”. This isn’t even just about Lexa. Read Kylie’s letter again.

      • TrickyNicky

        Further along this point, like Kylie, Julia, and Wendy mention about GoT, it’s about the pattern. The last two major deaths were a lesbian killed by the magic bullet of plot convenience, and a black man killed while kneeling in a puddle. No unfortunate implications there!

        • Christina

          Oh, but they didn’t mean to include those unfortunate implications or to create that pattern, so we’re just being unfair by pointing it out 🙁

          (I hope my sarcasm is showing)

          Not to mention that every queer woman on The 100 has suffered as a direct result of her sexuality, while straight people on the show don’t lose their significant others due of the love they have for each other.

          They do suffer, though. So maybe love is indeed weakness? What a great message! Bravo, The 100. Bravo!

          • TrickyNicky

            Well, as we say, “intent doesn’t negate results!” :p

            And yeah, maybe I should just start quoting Captain Pike from the Star Trek reboot. He had some great lines about patterns and being above it all.

          • Christina

            You have my unwavering support.

    • RH

      Yeah because having the lesbian be punished for loving a woman happened because Alycia couldnt be on the show anymore. This show promotes and condones violence, torture, rape & various forms of abuse. Really worth the support for sure.

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  • Paisley Willis

    I think the worst part for me is that the show has seemingly been leading up to a relationship between Clarke and Bellamy since the 1st season, and that in itself leads to a whole new range of possible implications. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not saying a relationship between the 2 would be unexpected or that I’d be completely against it, but considering how rushed and unplanned Lexa’s death scene seemed to be and all of the underlying homophobic implications the whole idea of them being together now seems very inconsiderate to me. Yes, I’m sure there were many excusable reasons why Lexa’s character had to be killed off but now I can only seem to think that one of those reasons was because Clarke has to be with Bellamy. Am I the only person bothered by that?

  • rachel clark

    Thank you for this. So professional while also deeply personal. I relate to you on both but have a harder time explaining it objectively while I’m watching people I care about fall apart around me.

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  • Alexandre

    Dear Fans and Jason!

    I hand already written a petiton to Jason about ‘ Lexa Kom Trikru’ .

    Allow me to share this with you,and I also sent this letter to his studio or head office.

    The strength of this community surprises me and now I see the power it represents.

    See below:

    Dear Jason

    It was by accident that I had a chance to watch the series which you and your team created. ( I would like to note, that not one of the series I watched so far impressed me as much as the 100.) First of all I would like to praise you rather than looking for deficiencies and mistakes.

    Especially I would like to outline that you and your team possess outstanding talent to choose actors which I haven’t really seen in other series. I would especially like to outline Lexa and Clarke (Eliza and Alycia). Your staff created a sci-fi heroine and you and your staff’s masterful intuition created Lexa.

    If I was born a hundred times even then wouldn’t I be able to put together a perfectly intangible and platonic symbol into an actress. The two traits combined are astonishing and unmatched.

    Lexa – you created her in a view which portrayed her as a cold – staring, merciless, and on top of that incredibly gorgeous beauty in which I did not expect to see such feelings manifested towards another woman as I am a straight guy – in this series did I come to believe that such relationship filled with love can exist between the same sex.

    What is especially interesting in your story is that this cold staring, seemingly heartless woman can undergo such changes – to have love, goodness and heart – this is what love is about.

    I myself love art and recognize talent, and your talent to pick the actors and your fantasy is unmatched and Alycia – in Lexa’s role – is an unbelievably talented actress including Eliza as well (Clarke).

    I think that your talents could make this show so successful that Hollywould would eventually end up at your feet. I believe that it was a great and effective idea to kill Lexa. Losing Lexa made the fans appreciate how much does it mean to lose someone you had – you expressed this feeling in the series how much Lexa meant to Clarke – she showed in the moment Lexa died.

    I never wrote on any blog in my life before and not one comment to any series but this moment was a turning point as I believe the show’s ratings can be multiplied tenfold compared to the current status.

    . I think that the base story is a geniusly crafted creation and because of this turning point the way I envision bringing back Lexa is the following: Obviously you must have million ideas how you could bring her back – I can only give you advice when I listen to my heart is that these two talents are people who both I and the fans want to see for a long time.

    I think that Lexa must come back in a really effective way as a warrior, a person who is in love and in such a moment when Clarke really needs her – in a moment when Clarke is at her last breath and wishes for death so she can meet her love, Lexa. And this would also be a turning point for the fans asking that ‘are we going to lose Clarke as well?’. This would be the moment when fans would literally fall off the chair!

    Lexa would interrupt the proceedings of a war and would save Clarke. Clarke wouldn’t believe that it is Lexa but she will soon realise it after Lexa is in her arms – in this moment you must implement great love, romance and kisses into the scene so that every fan watching from their seats who haven’t fallen off yet would do at this moment.

    We would like to see more feelings and more love from these two heroines – we wish for more exciting episodes, even wars which I entrust to your talent.

    You proved with your series that all of us are secretly like Lexa on the inside – and this is the reason everyone expects her back on the show as we are all hopelessly searching for true love – even you cannot deny this.

    This woman suppressed her feelings showing nothing to the outside world, just like the way we live in this civilization and we are defending what we have and what we have left. But when the time comes and we see who really stands close to us then the ice might break.

    Everything can change, the place, the vision, the thinking and feelings. You showed and proved this and you weren’t mistaken as all of us our just like this. I got to like Lexa because Alycia played her role and her secret love tremendously. Please bring out the best from this actress as I believe she is capable for so much more. I would also like to mention Clarke who always wished for peace and was always looking for a solution.

    Basically she is doesn’t differ from Lexa at all – only that Lexa was listening to her mind up until the point she got overtaken by love. You proved that two completely separate and differing personalities with completely different background can fall in love – love does not know bounds. This is the reason why Lexa and you have so many fans. If you are a businessman I advise you to bring out the best of them and continue to produce movies – perhaps in another subject or theme but keep employing these two as they are the future.

    If you and your team will bring back Lexa using these effects and show the world what true love means then this show till top the charts no problem!

    If you are a true businessman and you see what kind of upset did the death of a fictive, unreal and sci-fi character brought, then you know that you must move heaven and earth in tandem with the channel to bring Lexa back to the show as you know it will have a short term cost but will pay dividends on the long term.

    Jason, I would also like to call for your attention that these uproars coming from the fans are the proof of your art, knowledge and your talent and that you are liked and loved and people enjoy your creation. Please look for an opportunity to contract Alycia for the long term as she deserves so much more to scream through 6 seasons of the Bollywood version of the walking dead!

    Please bring back Lexa, our Heda and our heroine with even more romance so we can see her in a lot of series – as you said: Life is more than just about survival! May we meet again!

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  • Pontifex

    Excellent article. There were aspects that I had missed.
    I understand that Lexa was going to die anyway because the actor, like the one playing Lincoln, was leaving the show. (Why let a character leave gracefully when there is always a motorcycle leaning against the shark tank, waiting to be used?) It was the appalling way in which it was framed that I found offensive.

    (Much the same was true of Lincoln’s execution; the death of the MoC was shot and edited in such a way that it seemed to be more of a part of Octavia’s arc than the end of his own.)

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  • Mira

    My issue isn’t with the fact that Lexa died- as I’d had a gut feeling from her first appearance that she wasn’t going to last- but it was the way in which she died. It just made no sense and was so rushed like “well you’re character arc has JUST had a high point, now it’s time to go.” and I can get that Alycia had more work lined up, but come on there are better ways to write her death. It just felt so much like JRoth was just trying to get her out of the way quickly so they could move on, and it was like her entire character had been written so they could say “there you go, now stop bothering us about representation”. Even though I felt like she was going to die the moment she appeared in the show, I wanted a much better death for her. A death in battle even would have been enough to satisfy me somewhat.
    I’m more upset about Lincoln’s death, to be honest. At least Lexa did get to die surrounded by people she loved, even though it was a nonsense death. JRoth was clearly trying to channel GoT in the *gasp!* shocking, brutal, tragic death!!! and in true D&D fashion gave no fucks about the problematic scenes. It was so callous how he thought it was a great cinematic decision to have a PoC be killed in that fashion, and it infuriates me so much how he just didn’t seem to care?
    Like D&D, it’s obvious he doesn’t care about the people watching the show who will react negatively to the unnecessary deaths of characters and the problematic suggestions those deaths have.

  • Clem

    I completely agree with you. I got so affected by her meaningless death. Keeping that character could have been such a great opportunity to open our minds. I wrote an open letter to J.Rothenberg myself, it would be great if you guys read it and give me your opinion about it. https://medium.com/@Celm/mr-rothenberg-83a6dfbf8512#.29atsajyf

    Anyway, I still have hope that this huge reaction will change our representations, and maybe the writers of The 100 will hear us at the end.

  • mastedon2

    I was REALLY getting into the show with Netflix, until season two when the main character just HAD TO BE gay… Doesn’t it just make ALL the sense in the world to write her as “suddenly a gay character”? I am sure that the .003 percent of AfterEllen readers wet their pants for the political shout out, but really, there was no purpose other than once again, a homosexual writer/producer destroying a good story with meaningless nonsense. No more 100 for me. They did the same thing to Sons of Anarchy as soon as the flaming producer took over… nothing but man on man jailsex from that point on in every episode… It was pointless and stupid, and obviously intended for gullible minds.

  • mastedon2

    Seeing the picture of the producer proves why the show went into the dumpster during season 2.

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An open letter to Jason Rothenberg of ‘The 100’

Dear Mr. Rothenberg,

I don’t watch your show, but I know many individuals who do—individuals who are actively hurting right now.

I also happen to know the signs of emotional manipulation on the part of media creators. Well, I suppose you could say all fiction is emotional manipulation, but there’s a difference between building characters and tensions, and outright pulling the rug out from underneath the feet of your viewers and reveling in the Shock™ you’ve written.

What worries me is that based on your response so far to the criticism surrounding Lexa’s death, you seem to be utterly missing the point. There is certainly always going to be a strong reaction when a “fan favorite” gets killed off, and it’s not wrong to assume that is part of the uproar. But it’s not the totality of it either. And actually, the reason I felt compelled to write this was due to the following quote of yours:

“I don’t even want to talk about the trope that’s out there about LGBT characters; that is not something that factored into the decision [to kill Lexa].”

It boggles my mind to think that you, a media creator in such a position of power, don’t seem to understand what something being a trope actually means. This refers to a pattern of storytelling commonly used in television, books, and movies. And these patterns of writing are shaped by our cultural context. For instance, Twilight was built largely on the hellish Love Triangle trope, which was often found in media targeted at teenage girls in the years following its release.

But here’s the thing, stories that utilize tropes generally aren’t the result of writers sitting down and thinking “HMMMM let me incorporate this nifty difty one” (unless they are, in fact, Rebecca Sugar and making a conscious effort to subvert them). Rather, their writing falls into a familiar storytelling pattern, due to our societal values and what we tend to consume—a pattern we can recognize and label.

“A trope is a storytelling device or convention, a shortcut for describing situations the storyteller can reasonably assume the audience will recognize.” –TV Tropes

This is not always a bad thing, mind you. Many tried and true storytelling devices are still quite effective for an engaging narrative, such as in the case of the “Unlikely/Reluctant Hero,” the “Will They or Won’t They” slowburn tensions, or the “Lampshade Hanging” device found in many a comedy.

On the other hand, some tropes are negative. And a lot can have damning cultural consequences on top of that. For instance, in Game of Thrones, their most recent season played into the concerning trope that “All Abusers are Male”; the three times a man was being clearly abused by a woman (Tommen with Margaery, Bronn with Tyene, and Hizdahr with Dany, if you watch the show) were either played for laughs or presented in a positive light. “It’s just a show!” Well no. The fact is, men who are victims of abuse, particularly at the hands of women, are far less likely to report it, or even talk about it because of our bullshit sexist societal conceptions of strength. Do you think it’s a coincidence that these are the narratives perpetuated, while at the same time men in the United States are 3-10 times more likely to kill themselves than women?

Media matters. And unfortunately for you, nothing can be created in a cultural vacuum, no matter how much you might like to think that you’re above the influence.

Bury Your Gays,” the trope to which you’ve no doubt been alerted, has a long history. And especially when it involves a gay woman, we’re looking at history shaped by the intersection of sexism and homophobia. I’m not saying you cannot kill a lesbian character ever. I’m saying your absolute refusal to have had this trope…what was it? “factor into your decision”? was the problem.

From what I can tell, the biggest outcry has absolutely nothing to do with the mere fact that Lexa ended up dead, though I should say, given that she was the only lesbian in your cast, this is a call worth an eyebrow raise. Also given the history of brutalized gays in media, a call always worth a second-thought. But still, I think a fair amount of your fans saw this coming. In fact, forgive me for saying, but it was so baldly telegraphed that even I managed to see it was coming, doing nothing more than scrolling past the occasional gifset on Tumblr.

There are no doubt cries of “never kill your gays!” from fans, and why not? People are hurting. Plus as I said, is this truly the best possible narrative? I have my doubts.

But I do believe there is a more nuanced point to make here, because I personally find that mentality to be a little too…Closer it Earth-ish. Or at least infantilizing, if you will. In my opinion, and I believe this is what you have been trying to [rather insensitively] articulate, there are times characters can be killed who simply happen to be gay, and that doesn’t mean they are killed as a result of their gayness. I think you are of the mindset that Lexa falls into this, and I am sympathetic to why you believe that, given what you described as your intent: that there was a narrative purpose in her death and a story worth exploring through the resurrection plotline.

However, even if your intent was pure as driven snow, it does not magically make the result infallible. Nor does it make it free of unfortunate implications. The true issue I see, and the point I believe you are heavily missing based on your interviews, is that it was the execution of Lexa’s death that is the biggest problem. And this is for two reasons:

  1. It came within mere minutes of Lexa’s [first, gay] sex scene, and
  2. The manner of Lexa’s death felt completely random, unmotivated, and ultimately cheap for the character you had built.

She was killed by a stray bullet, right? Because “no one is safe” is something you bill your show on?

Look, I truly don’t think you had any sort of malicious intent. But this is why it’s important for media creators to consider the cultural context and to think through all the implications of what they’re writing. Because had you considered the context, you would have realized that LGBT individuals, particularly lesbians, have a long history of media creators continually ripping away the few characters they care about by burying them (hey! that’s the name of the trope!). So given that such a marginalized group with so little representation in shows seem to be continually told the same damn narrative—that the people they relate to will end up dead—perhaps you should have approached Lexa’s death a little more carefully.

Would it have killed you to have Clarke and Lexa hook up just one episode sooner, so maybe for one measly week people who identified with this could have seen that sometimes they can be happy? Or how about twenty minutes? How about anything other than the immediate “they had sex, and here’s the violent and shitty result, which by the way was a direct result of that sex because the bullet was meant for Clarke and Lexa’s only ‘crime’ was loving her.”

Oh and let’s not forget that the guy who fired a gun had been continually telling Lexa that her feelings for Clarke were inappropriate and dangerous (and that her past relationship with a different woman had been a mistake). Because there’s no unfortunate implications the audience can take away from that.

While we’re at it, how in the world was the Stray Bullet of Plot Convenience what you settled on? That didn’t seem hackneyed or anti-climactic to you?

Why didn’t you have Lexa get assassinated? From the social media posts I’ve seen, this was a genuine threat for quite a few episodes, and at least that would have played out with some sort of consideration to her characterization and agency. As would have, I don’t know, her dying in a fight somehow. Or making a heroic sacrifice. Or literally anything else. My understanding is that this was a woman who bested a man twice her size in a fight-to-the-death by catching a goddamned blade with her bare hands, yet instead of killing him chucks a spear right into his spectating mother who had orchestrated that scenario in the first place.

This is the character you created, and yet you seriously mean to tell me that her being a victim of cruel, cruel fate was seriously the best conceivable way for her to die, and a fitting end? Not mention the fact that this was so sloppily done (especially given the bullet’s seemingly non-fatal location and Clarke’s immediate medical attention) that it only served to shatter the suspension of disbelief of your viewers, at least from what I can tell, rather than whatever effect you were hoping for.

What was that effect, by the way? Maximum Shock™ and Angst™? Which is basically you attempting to hurt your audience as much as possible and damn the consequences? Because truly, the timing and arbitrary nature of it become rather difficult to rationalize away. Especially given that it was at the hands of someone who cared for her: the icing on the cake of tawdry drama.

Also, I’m sorry but for especially for someone more disconnected from the show, the whole thing almost transcends drama and becomes comedy due to how nakedly cheap it was. It looks as though Lexa was coming in to borrow a cup of sugar and oh noes!

“Hey Clarke, did I leave my phone charger in here? Zoinks!”

What a twist! How bold. How brave. How stunning.

Okay, I’m getting angry and I shouldn’t be. Because look, I get it. I understand that the “best drama on television” is making a fortune and winning awards off of this utterly shallow style of storytelling, while also “boldly” being as offensive as possible (on every level) and not giving a damn about any implications or criticism. It’s tantalizing to follow suit, especially if that’s a show you find enjoyable. If nothing else, it’s proven to be profitable. I suppose there’s no accounting for taste, though I’m afraid you’ll find few who agree on this site.

If you think “no one is safe” is something deep and interesting, then to each their own. You can certainly write a show exploring that, as you have. But guess what? That doesn’t give you carte blanche to not give a shit about your audience. The empathetic reactions of your viewers need to be taken into consideration, especially when you have so many young, LGBT or questioning individuals watching and getting involved in this relationship. Not to mention, by many accounts, these were viewers that you bent over backwards to get invested, whether extending invites to your set, or promoting (and maybe leaking?) f/f content, or the continual “Clexa”-focused interviews.

It was deadly effective, clearly, because up until last week, you had numerous marginalized teens and young adults who were feeling engaged, feeling represented, and feeling (dare I say it?) hopeful. Which inherently put you in a position of power over them.

I don’t mean to be rude, but you simply cannot understand the experience of being a queer woman, or questioning teen, in today’s society. You cannot imagine having characters that can maybe be counted on one hand (if you’re lucky…I have one finger) who are possible to relate to. And you really can’t imagine what that feels like when it is cruelly torn away.

I’m also wondering if you realize how many LGBT individuals use media as a form of escapism. A lot of us have terrible anxiety, or struggle with depression, or whatever else the result of this toxically homophobic society yields. Make no mistake, gay marriage might now be legal in the States, but not a single day has gone by since I came out seven years ago where I’ve been allowed to forget my sexuality. That’s what it means to be marginalized.

My tone is harsh, and I apologize, but there’s a lot of people around me that are hurt right now. Then to hear you say that you didn’t even consider the cultural context? That “oh it’s not this trope because I didn’t think about it”? It’s infuriating. And quite lacking in self-awareness.

But guess what? This can be good too. It can be a growing opportunity. This strong outcry hopefully has demonstrated to you the power that you wield, and I simply hope that you wield it for good moving forward. I’m not saying to simply never kill off your LGBT characters from now on and you’ll be fine. I’m saying to put forethought into your storytelling. I’m saying to think about the context. Even better, bring voices into your planning/writing rooms who can offer a perspective that might be helpful. Reach out. Listen.

Learn what it feels like to be the 20-year-old lesbian who hasn’t been able to sleep more than three hours this past week. Learn what it feels like to be the 16-year-old questioning student that had to leave school the day after it aired due to panic attacks. I’ve certainly had to talk to both of them, along with others, because of how badly they were hurt by your show. And if this sounds like an overreaction to you, then all I can say is you are very lucky that you’ve never needed to put so much stock in a single character, because you are represented elsewhere.

We don’t all have that luxury.

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