'The 100' Exec Producer Pens Apology Letter After Angering Fans

Jason Rothenberg addressed Lexa's unexpected death in March 3 episode which prompted fans to label it another 'Bury Your Gays' TV trope.

AceShowbiz - Jason Rothenberg, the man behind Lexa's shocking death on The CW's "The 100", penned an apology letter for the show's angry fans. The showrunner admitted to being "heartbroken" but it was never his intention to bury any character in such a painful way.

A lot of characters die on a TV series, but Lexa's death falls into the unfortunate pattern that many viewers despise. Just as the character consummated her slow-burn relationship with Clarke, she was unceremoniously killed by a single stray bullet. This scene has been perceived as "Bury Your Gays" by TV fans. As a result, Rothenberg received harsh criticisms and lost a lot of followers on Twitter.

In his lengthy open letter, Rothenberg said, "Since our episode 'Thirteen' aired three weeks ago, I've spent a great deal of time reading letters, blogs, tweets and articles from passionate women and men of all ages who were angered and saddened that the character Lexa was killed off immediately after a love scene with our hero Clarke. I'm still processing this. I'm still learning. But I have gained perspective and more than ever, I am profoundly grateful to you, our fans."

"No series, no episode of television, exists in a vacuum. As an audience, we bring with us our life experience, the events of the time, and the collective memory of all the stories we have been entertained by (or not). Every relationship. Every love scene or act of violence. Every revelation or cliche. Every original story and, yes, every trope. The worst shows retread the formula. The best transcend cliche, opening our eyes to new ways of thinking, and welcome new audiences in."

"For many fans of The 100, the relationship between Clarke and Lexa was a positive step of inclusion. I take enormous pride in that, as I do in the fact that our show is heading into its 4th season with a bisexual lead and a very diverse cast. The honesty, integrity and vulnerability %cEliza Taylor% and %cAlycia Debnam-Carey% brought to their characters served as an inspiration for many of our fans. Their relationship held greater importance than even I realized. And that very important representation was taken away by one stray bullet."

"The thinking behind having the ultimate tragedy follow the ultimate joy was to heighten the drama and underscore the universal fragility of life. But the end result became something else entirely - the perpetuation of the disturbing 'Bury Your Gays' trope. Our aggressive promotion of the episode, and of this relationship, only fueled a feeling of betrayal. While I now understand why this criticism came our way, it leaves me heartbroken. I promise you burying, baiting or hurting anyone was never our intention. It's not who I am."

He went on explaining how common a death occurs on TV and argued that the episode was prompted by "practical (an actress was leaving the show), creative (it's a story about reincarnation) and thematic (it's a show about survival)." He also did not forget to discuss the real LGBTQ issues occurring outside the screen. "Those of us lucky enough to have a platform to tell stories have an opportunity to expand the boundaries of inclusion, and we shouldn't take that for granted," he wrote.

Read the full statement here. The cast and crew are expected to further address the situation at WonderCon this weekend in Los Angeles.

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