“The 100” executive producer Jason Rothenberg is apologizing for the death of popular lesbian character Lexa, played by Alycia Debnam-Carey.
Rothenberg has come under fire ever since the CW show killed off one of the most beloved characters on the show and ending the fan-favorite romance between Lexa and Clarke, known as “Clexa.” In fact, Lexa’s death came immediately following a pivotal romance scene that had been brewing for many episodes. Fans accused the show of queer-baiting and feeding into the “Bury Your Gays” trope. A fundraiser in support of the Trevor Project was created in the wake of the news.
Rothenberg says it was never his intention to queer-bait the fan base.
“The thinking behind having the ultimate tragedy follow the ultimate joy was to heighten the drama and underscore the universal fragility of life,” Rothenberg writes. “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,” Rothenberg continued.
“Despite my reasons, I still write and produce television for the real world where negative and hurtful tropes exist. And I am very sorry for not recognizing this as fully as I should have. Knowing everything I know now, Lexa’s death would have played out differently,” the statement reads.
“But I’ve been powerfully reminded that the audience takes that ride in the real world — where LGBTQ teens face repeated discrimination, often suffer from depression and commit suicide at a rate far higher than their straight peers. Where people still face discrimination because of the color of their skin. Where, in too many places, women are not given the same opportunities as men, especially LGBTQ women who face even tougher odds. And where television characters are still not fully representative of the diverse lives of our audience. Not even close,” Rothenberg writes.
Read the full statement here.