The 100 Showrunner Is Apologizing For That Controversial Character Death

the 100 clarke

First of all, major spoilers for anyone not caught up on The 100‘s brilliant third season. Second of all, Clexa shippers can rejoice, because you have been heard: The 100 showrunner Jason Rothenberg has admitted he might have done something differently had he known what was coming his way when he decided to kill off all-around badass Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey) two episodes ago.

That death – which occurred in the final moments of the season’s seventh episode – has spurred the ire of many fans on the internet, largely due to the random and out-of-nowhere nature in which she was killed: by a stray bullet meant for series lead Clarke (Eliza Taylor). Some of the biggest arguments against her death center around the subtle treatment of her sexuality, and the fact that she and Clarke had just hooked up minutes before she was shot, after seasons of teasing.

Rothenberg has apparently read the Tumblr and Twitter accounts dedicated to Lexa’s death and decided to pen an apology letter in response. It’s lengthy, but here’s a clip:

For many fans of The 100, the relationship between Clarke and Lexa was a positive step of inclusion. I take enormous pride in that, as I do in the fact that our show is heading into its 4th season with a bisexual lead and a very diverse cast. The honesty, integrity and vulnerability Eliza Taylor and Alycia Debnam-Carey brought to their characters served as an inspiration for many of our fans. Their relationship held greater importance than even I realized. And that very important representation was taken away by one stray bullet.

The writer seems to be most concerned about the perception that the team decided to kill Lexa to satisfy the “Bury Your Gays” trope of modern television, which sees LGBT relationships either overshadowed by straight couples or superseded completely (which is a nice way of saying that gay people die a lot in genre shows). “It’s not who I am,” he ensured fans, claiming it was entirely a decision to heighten the stakes of the war between the Twelve Clans and nothing more.

He reminded himself that while The 100 takes place in a fantasy world, the fans watching it don’t have that luxury:

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.

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.

Will this be enough to satisfy such loyal and hurt fans? Who knows, but let’s be honest, the infamous “kill [blank] and I walk” argument is almost always an empty statement. The 100 is an insanely high-quality hour of television, and although the episode following Lexa’s death was annoyingly silent on the repercussions of the moment, it’s easy to have faith in such a slick, confident show.