I’m Sorry ‘The 100’, We Have to Break Up Now

 100

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:

the 100 3x08 3“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

Angel 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 is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.


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About the author

Angel 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 is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.

Comments

  1. PPl, ladies, wake up and smell the coffee, just two months ago a sneaked vid on youtube of the last ep being filmed in Vancover was reviled. showed LEXA rescuing Clark. Bottom line is the dollar. The showrunner is not as brain dead as Jack kenny was with W13 and with Myka and HG, just wait for it.And please, for the love that all is wholy, stop the ‘wine fest’ really? Am I the only one showing up with Hot wings for the finally?

    1. She is dead. That is just a CoL copy. Jason invited Lexa fans on set to take those pictures and make it seem like she is back and fool us the rest of the season. She is dead. The actress is done and her closest friends on the show said goodbyes. A computer copy isn’t the real thing. In fact she might get two deaths if they succeed in destroying where the copy is stored. In closing, she’s dead and the second time Clarke probably gets to hit the delete switch herself which is… hm.

    2. She’s going to be in the City of Light, but still dead, sorry. & they let those fans film that on purpose so we’d get our hopes up that she wasn’t going to die.

    3. Even if you were right, can you say anything that would fix the Ricky Whittle thing? There were two parts to this break up letter.

      1. Nope the rumours about Ricky are true. I even heard he already quitted. There are also more actors who weren’t treated in the right way. At least some of them are not so happy with the treatment of their characters. Also there are rumours that JR didn’t allowed the actors to post ANY BTC pictures so he can post them to gain more followers on twitter. He also seems to not wanting the cast interacting too much with their fans for th same reason. I don’t know if it’s true but at least the first one may be true since I really saw very few BTS pictures posted by the cast members.

  2. There is no excusing Ricky’s treatment. Furthermore, it should be noted that Jason Rothenberg, aside from racist (e.g. Ricky’s treatment and the fact that, in season one, he had Jarod Joseph’s character, Miller, wear a beanie every day “so the audience would be able to tell him and Lincoln apart”), is also a misogynist (he heavily insinuated that Lindsey Morgan’s character, Raven, being sex positive and having sex with more than one male character in the show was an issue) and just an all-around terrible human being. His response to the fans’ backlash has been so childish and petty and an interview he did during a podcast clearly showed he has no understanding (and has no intention of no way of understanding) LGBT+ issues. For someone who is so self-congratulatory and who likes to talk so much about how progressive his show is, he seems little more than an ignorant, privileged, white cis straight man and a bully. Too bad such a sweet and talented cast has had to put up with that.

    1. I also heard Eliza wished in a interview she doesn’t want people sexualize her (or Clarke) too much. Well JR doesn’t seem to care giving her plenty of sex scenes. The thing with Miller is also true. And JR deletet a lot of scenes with Lincoln content so we see him mostly in prison if we see him AT ALL. He’s a main character but who would think that?

  3. Lexa is dead. The queerbaiting has definitely made me leave the show, and now I’m learning about all this stuff where he’s mistreated the cast?? noooo. hell no. I’m out.

    Steven Universe is amazing and has a variety of lgbt peeps and poc, just a lot of representation in general, also I’m pretty sure no one has died yet. Also basically everyone is a lesbian so. Yeah

  4. I love how u express how u feel u say everthing how it is and u are right about everthing. The truth should be heard and that is just what u did.

  5. For me, the 100 is like an abusive ex, you may still in love him but you’re better stay far from him if you want to be safe

  6. «Who we are and who we need to be to survive are two very different things»
    The 100..
    I started to watch this series in order to wait out the exit of my favorites, to kill time watching a casual TV show. And to my surprise, did’t even understand in what precise moment, the 100 has become one of the leaders of my rating. The beginning of the series is a bit reminiscent of “Lord of the flies”. Then the series started to get its own distinctive features that made me very pleased. Good, strong, post-apocalyptic, military science fiction! Original for the plot! There was interest in view throughout the series. Each episode ended unexpectedly what lured me to the subsequent viewing. In every season there are new characters, new locations, and as a consequence more storylines, twists and junctions. Also it is worth noting that the space looks spectacular with the ark, and “earthlings” really look ominous and costumes with make-up these guys made a very cool.
    I confess that I have not read the book. Don’t like to know in advance the plot. I would be happy To let the writers and actors to gradually engage me in a world full of incredible emotions, feelings and fantasies. The 100 copes with it just perfectly! Emotions overflow in almost every series. It is interesting that the roles of almost all the characters are played by actors little known to a wide audience. Actually it’s great because new faces on the screen are pleasing to the eye and the actors are very interesting to watch. Though some of them I know of course: Henry Cusick, Isaiah Washington, Paige Turco, Richard Harmon, Devon Bostick. Many thanks to the team of actors for an incredible full return to their work.
    I was also interested in fans of the series. I was wondering what people think about the show, how they react. And people’s reaction around the world led me in bewilderment and admiration at the same time. Their love, broken hearts, dislike, their revelation to the characters, supporting actors, this firework of emotions. WOW!
    «Life is about more than just surviving» Holy cow! This quote does not climb out of my head! Thanks to Twitter and fans of The 100.
    So. A few words of course, about ep3s7.. No! Not because this series is so stunning that needs infinite circumscribing. Although I won’t deny it was good. Actually only because this is the last series I watched.. yet. First of all I want to thank the WHOLE TEAM working on this series. Talented actors Neil Sandilands, Alycia Debnam-Carey, John Murphy, Eliza Taylor, Marie Avgeropoulos. Special gratitude is an important part of the shooting team: producer, screenwriter, film editor, cameraman, costume designer, makeup artist, sound engineer, etc.. People who have created another stunning turn blew up the Internet, the hearts and minds of millions of people. Amazing experts in their field! Light, music, scenery, text and transmission of emotions.. it all turned out so well.
    Avow I didn’t cry at the end of the series. That really is my problem «I have the emotional range of a teaspoon». BUT!! I was shocked by this turn. Very, very sad moment, really.
    I will say this, if Alycia Debnam-Carey really leaves the project, she makes it gorgeously! As for her leaving, I don’t have the slightest doubt that it would be better for her. I understand and respect her decision. She is now at the dawn of acting opportunities, she has a huge potential and a clear goals, and must to develop and grow. Also, I understand the producer and agrees that this is the post-apocalyptic genre with elements of sci-fi, the show simply cannot and should not turn into The L Word. Didn’t mean to offend anyone.
    One thing I know to be true is that The 100 definitely has surprised us, as done before.
    – What was that?
    – Let’s call it hope.
    Kane&Abby.
    In conclusion I want to say that Jason Rothenberg has created not just a show, but something more!

    1. I’m glad you’re still enjoying the show. But one point: “the show simply cannot and should not turn into the L Word.” Why does queer romance have to be shoved into its own genre? Why can’t we have queer romances in other genres too? This show was giving us that and then it gave us a terrible trope instead.

      1. “Why can’t we have queer romances in other genres too?” I’m all for it.
        But I’m afraid if the show will delve into romance, it will lose the essence and storyline! As has happened with some series.
        “If you give people everything they want – they will complain that they were deceived and that they were not what I wanted” Ernest Miller Hemingway
        And by the way.. I love the L Word..didn’t mean to be rude..

        1. Fair enough. I just enjoy being represented in other genres and it hurt for them to do this. I am glad others are able to still enjoy it though because before this happened I truly did feel it was one of the best shows on TV.

      2. Ccorrect myself..
        “If you give to people that they want – they will complain that they have been deceived and that he have received absolutely not that wanted”
        Hemingway

  7. I completly agree with your review Angel, what a shame another supposedely good show sinking low this way… -_- (I especially agree that it’s right to have also an honest queer rapresentation along with the typical het norm: I mean this doesn’t make it a sub-genre, as the L-world was afterall IMO, but it simply would represent real life as it is, cos if there are a certain kind of couples beside the sci-fi theme why not the others? Also Spartacus wasn’t a romance but it gave justice to LGBT people, it’s just a matter of respect for me.)

    I’m behind with the eps, I had just bought season 2 boxset in order to watch it soon, especially for Ricky’s character & Ocatavia…but I won’t purchase this #3 for sure now that I’m aware about Ricky’s treatment!>_<

    -Fer…OMG that's disgusting! I frankly was taken by surprise, since all the raving reviews read about this show before this period. O_O
    -Jroth…I'm so sick of all the queerbating around, when the hell will TPTB learn how to respect their audience?! Why it's always everything taking for granted, this just sucks big time!!
    BTW thanks for the Steven U. suggestion (I've been so suprised to see that it was a cartoon, quite avant-garde then!); I can add that also the gay duo of Malec from the new series Shadowhunters seems to have a fair treatment, fingers crossed.

    PS-Anyway apart rare gems or cable tv it seems that in mainstream telly LGBT are still a taboo topic (I mean token characters apart or the charade they make to seem more modernly open-minded :-/), whereas I've found a real freedom & fresh take in literature these past years.

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