I’m Sorry ‘The 100’, We Have to Break Up Now
We’ve been through a lot together, The 100, but I think it’s time we part ways.
I’ve spoken your praise to so many people that it breaks my heart to have to do this. When so many people were upset about the treatment of LGBTQ+ characters or women on other shows, I pointed toward you as an alternative. I was first introduced to you by fellow Geekiary writer Jamie in her initial recommendation for the series, and I was so enamored that I jumped at the chance to talk to the cast at San Diego Comic-Con about the ground breaking portrayal of a bisexual protagonist on an American network show. But now here I am walking away from the show for good. And I hate to say this, but it’s not me, it’s you.
My drastic turn has all happened within two weeks time. It’s the fastest I’ve ever changed course on a show ever and I’m even surprised at my own visceral reaction. The first blow was Lexa’s death, which adds one more body to the growing number of deaths of lesbian and bisexual women on TV. People die in stories. I get that. But this happens so often it’s been dubbed the “Bury Your Gays” trope via TV Tropes. There’s even a popular Tumblr blog called Another Dead Lesbian that documents this trope in action. To see a show that I’ve been praising so highly for being progressive about the depiction of sexuality on TV fall into this trope broke my heart. It went against everything I’d been saying about how progressive you are about gender and sexuality. You’ve made me look a bit foolish, and that sucks, man. I trusted you.
Still, despite this, I wasn’t completely walking away from the show just yet. I was ready to just go on a break. When Castiel ‘died’ on Supernatural in season 7 I went on a break for almost the entire season. When Glenn ‘died’ last season on The Walking Dead, I left until the new season premiered. Both of these characters were brought back, but even if they hadn’t I may have come back to those shows on my own after I’d cooled off from the initial shock of my favorite character dying. Maybe. In retrospect it’s hard to say. Alycia Debnam-Carey, who plays Lexa, did recently get a role on Fear the Walking Dead, so the part of me that was so in love with The 100 that I couldn’t permanently break up with it hoped that this was the reason for her character’s departure. It doesn’t make her permanent death justified, but it helped ease my pain to think of the reason behind it as an actress simply moving on to another project.
But I just stumbled across even more upsetting news, and now I fear this break will have to become permanent. Ricky Whittle, who plays Lincoln (part of my ‘power OTP‘ on the show, Lincoln/Octavia), may or may not be leaving the show. In a series of tweets by his mother, she indicates that he will be leaving and lays the blame squarely at showrunner Jason Rothenberg’s feet:
“Finally got full story from my son, [Jason Rothenberg] should be ashamed! Disgusting behaviour from grown man & one in ‘power to an honest person.’ Even as a boy Rick always stood up for himself & others against bullies, I’m proud he continued this trend & glad karma rewarded him. I hope he shares the sad truth so u all understand why he had to walk away. Nobody should have to deal with bullies alone, talk to someone.”
Ricky has also been cast on another show, the American Gods adaptation by Starz, so I may have been able to contribute his departure to that just as I did for Alycia, but those tweets put things into an entirely different light. In my search for more information about his potential departure I discovered meta analyzing race in the show, including Lincoln and grounder culture at large. Now he’s probably going to go out tragically as the actor departs the show, and my favorite couple will turn horribly tragic just like Clarke and Lexa did. There’s been no official announcement that Ricky Whittle is leaving, but this is enough for me to be righteously furious already.
So I’m sorry, The 100. Lexa’s death angered me enough to go on a break, but the treatment of Lincoln as a character and Ricky Whittle as an actor is the death knell of this relationship. Don’t worry. This website has plenty of people still excited about the show and tuning in week after week. In fact, they just launched a new fun poll yesterday about the show. The ratings were down this week, so there’s a lot of angry fans like myself, but there’s also plenty of people who haven’t hit that tipping point or aren’t even upset about the show at all. That’s fine. To each their own. But I simply can’t do this anymore. My mental health cannot take this kind of strain.
May we meet again. Perhaps on another show without unfortunate sexuality and race-related tropes. I hear Steven Universe is good. I’ll be over there for a while.
Author: Angel Wilson
Stephanie “Angel” Wilson is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and has essays published in Fandom Frontlines.
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