The 100 is a post-apocalyptic drama on The CW about a group of 100 juvenile delinquents who are sent to Earth from an orbiting spaceship 97 years after nuclear apocalypse to determine if the planet is habitable again yet.
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The show includes several LGBT characters, including the protagonist Clarke Griffin (Eliza Taylor), who is eventually revealed to be bisexual. Other LGBT characters include Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey), a lesbian recurring character in the second and third seasons, Niylah (Jessica Harmon), Nathan Miller (Jarod Joseph), and Bryan (Jonathan Whitesell).
In Season 2, Lexa revealed that she was formerly in a relationship with a girl named Costia who was killed. Lexa and Clarke later shared a kiss, but Clarke stated that she was not ready for a relationship as she was still mourning her ex-boyfriend Finn Collins, who was killed earlier in season 2. In season 3, Clarke has sex with Niylah and later with Lexa. It is also revealed in season 3 that recurring character Nathan Miller has a boyfriend, Bryan, on Farm Station.
The Clarke/Lexa relationship (known to fans as Clexa) became wildly popular with fans.
Season 3 Controversy
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The 100 became the focus of considerable controversy in season 3 after Lexa was killed in episode 3.07 "Thirteen," which aired March 3, 2016. Although fans had speculated that Lexa might not survive due to the show's famous "nobody is safe" philosophy and the fact that Debnam-Carey was cast as a series regular on another show called Fear the Walking Dead, the show's social media messaging seemed to suggest a more promising future for the couple, so when the death did come, it caught many fans by surprise and many felt that they had been deliberately misled. For example, writer's assistant Shawna Benson visited lesbian fan forums under the name "Your Friendly Neighborhood Lurker" and assured fans that a message from Debnam-Carey to showrunner Jason Rothenberg that was widely interpreted by fans as a farewell was actually just Debnam-Carey thanking Rothenburg: "No "goodbye" implied by thanking the show creator for casting her in a great role."  At the time of these comments, Lexa's death had already been written and filmed but not aired.
Additionally, many fans felt that the manner of Lexa's death - killed by a stray bullet moments after consummating her relationship with Clarke, in a scene that shared many parallels with another controversial death in Buffy the Vampire Slayer - crossed the line into Bury Your Gays territory, especially given the long-standing tradition of LGBT characters in general and lesbian characters in particular dying soon after attaining happiness in a new relationship.
In the aftermath, angry fans campaigned to get the hashtag #LGBTfansdeservebetter trending on Twitter while the next episode of The 100 was airing and Rothenberg's Twitter follower count plummeted 10,000 in a matter of days. The episode following Lexa's death had the worst ratings of the season: 1.25 million viewers, compared to 1.39 million the week before. A later Twitter campaign, #BuryTropesNotUs, also succeeded in reaching Trending status. Fans also started a charity campaign that raised more than $117,000 for The Trevor Project, an organization that works to prevent suicide among LGBT youth. The controversy also became a hot topic on many LGBT and mainstream media sites.
On March 24, 2016, Rothenberg penned an apology to fans on his blog, stating:
There are several reasons why this particular episode played out the way it did: practical (an actress was leaving the show), creative (it’s a story about reincarnation) and thematic (it’s a show about survival). 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.
He also addressed the controversy at WonderCon, where he reiterated that nothing would have changed his decision to kill Lexa, but if he had realized the hurt it would cause the fanbase ahead of time, he would have altered the context of her death. Variety reports:
As for the way "Thirteen" was scripted and "the way the episode played out," Rothenberg said, "there's a couple things I wish we did better," including the "sex and death happening so close together. I definitely am uncomfortable with that juxtaposition now. The death had nothing to do with the fact that she'd just had sex; it was this powerful, transformative figure who was killed because she was trying to change her people, and that's always dangerous, as I think history has proven. That's why she died and that's why I allowed those two scenes to coexist like that. But in hindsight, I wish I'd found a way to separate them somehow," given the trope of lesbians dying so soon after a moment of sexual or emotional fulfillment.
- LGBT Fans Deserve Better
- We Deserved Better
- An Open Letter To Jason Rothenberg of The 100
- Someday, maybe. But not today.
- A major death on The 100 sparks massive backlash from queer fans
- Bury Your Gays: Why The 100, Walking Dead Deaths Are Problematic
- What TV Can Learn From The 100 Mess
- What TV Networks Still Don't Understand About Fandom
- The 100 Creator on Lexa Controversy: I Would've Done Some Things Differently
- For the Love of Fandom: Bierasure and #LGBTfansdeservebetter
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