When Alycia Debnam Carey‘s character, Lexa, was killed off on the last season of The 100, no one had any idea the outrage that would come from the fans’ quarters.
Javier Grillo-Marxuach, the writer of that fateful episode, said, “I don’t think that the failure here was to discuss it, the failure was to recognize the cultural impact it would have outside the show… and to act accordingly outside of the show.”
Grillo-Marxuach was a part of a panel at the ATX Television Festival titled “Bury Your Tropes,” which quickly turned to the common TV trope called “bury your gays.” The panel also included writers Krista Vernoff (Grey’s Anatomy), Carter Covington (Faking It), Carina MacKenzie (The Originals) and Megan Townsend from GLAAD. The trope has been seen on The Walking Dead, The Magicians, and Empire, among others.
Carter Covington defended Lexa’s death in The 100, saying her death was “very different than people getting killed off because they’re gay. This is storytelling.”
As a result of fans’ backlash, the Lexa Pledge was crafted. Numerous TV writers have signed it, promising to “refuse to kill a queer character solely to further the plot of a straight one” and to avoid “story choices that perpetuate the toxic [Bury Your Gays] trope.”
The 100 writer, Grillo-Marxuach, however, has not signed the pledge, and he says he won’t because, “I don’t make promises I can’t keep. I will not stand up in front of the world and promise to do this and then somehow become the scape goat on something that is not my property.”
Despite the backlash he received for Lexa’s death, the writer said he was “grateful for the tidal wave that came down on me. The activism that goes on online is important.”
Read more about the “Bury Your Tropes” discussion at The Hollywood Reporter.SuperFable