Executive producer Jason Rothenberg says he found the level of outrage following the death of beloved character Lexa on The 100 “unexpected.”
He hasn’t spoken at length about the controversial decision until now. In an interview with TV Insider, Rothenberg said, “We were a little surprised by it—obviously not that people were upset… We kind of knew that that would happen. The story that we’re telling is a tragedy. Lexa was a meaningful character to our fans, especially LGBTQ fans, and so I knew it would be emotional, of course. What was unexpected was the level of outrage that it’s generated from some people, but I do think I have come to understand that.”
Grounder Commander Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey) was killed accidentally by an official, Titus, who was trying to kill Clarke (Eliza Taylor) — Lexa’s lover with whom she had just consummated their relationship. The episode sparked an outcry on social media from fans who felt the decision to have Lexa killed was too much too soon.
Rothenberg said, “Lexa’s death triggered real emotional trauma for some people, you know? It tapped into the real world, it tapped into their lives, and as a straight white male, I obviously didn’t anticipate how deeply it would affect certain people. I look at it now and I realize that if somebody had that kind of a reaction and then were to look back at the way I behaved on Twitter leading up to it, which was celebrating this relationship that then crushed them, I can understand why they would find that reprehensible. I hope that people understand that.”
The showrunner emphasized that his intention was never to hurt fans, but said he and his team “should have done less buildup knowing where this was going to end up and knowing how this was going to affect people.”
That being said, Rothenberg stood by the story as it was written and performed. He said that even if he had anticipated the outrage, “We would have told the same story. I stand behind the story.”
He also added, “More characters that we love are going to die this season and it’s going to happen soon.”
The 100 returns on Thursday, March 31st, at 9pm EST on The CW.SuperFable