The boss at hit television series ‘The 100’ has apologised for the controversy after a popular character was killed off.
Fans of The 100, an American teen drama set post apocalypse, tweeted the phrase “LGBT fans deserve better” over 280,000 times.
The tweets and campaign were in response to an episode of the programme, during which the character Lexa was killed.
This comes soon after she found romance with the character Clarke shared a passionate kiss.
Just moments after the kiss, which was celebrated by fans, devastation struck as Lexa was shot dead.
Now Jason Rothenberg, the executive producer of the show has posted an open letter.
He wrote: “Knowing everything I know now, Lexa’s death would have played out differently,”
Going on, he said: “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 recognising this as fully as I should have.”
Campaigners accused the producers of bringing the character to a stereotypically tragic end, which they say is typical of LGBT characters of bygone times.
Fans of other shows, as well as The 100, have suggested that a premature death is afforded to many LGBT characters.
Read the full letter here:
The 100 is a post-apocalyptic tragedy set 130 years in the future. It’s a constant life and death struggle,” he wrote. “In our show, all relationships start with one question: ‘Can you help me survive today?’ It doesn’t matter what color you are, what gender identity you are, or whether you’re gay, bi or straight. The things that divide us as global citizens today don’t matter in this show. And that’s the beauty of science-fiction. We can make a point without preaching. We can say that race, sexuality, gender and disability should not divide us. We can elevate our thinking and take you on a helluva ride at the same time.
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.
Australian actor Alycia Debnam-Carey, who played Lexa in the series, is a regular on ‘Fear the Walking Dead’, which Rothenberg had previously attributed the character’s departure to the actor’s other commitments.
“I obviously had other obligations in my work life, and I hope that people know that this wasn’t a social attack on anyone or any social movement,” the actor said in an interview with Variety.
But in his letter today, Rothenberg wrote:“Their relationship held greater importance than even I realised. 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,” he continued.
“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.”