It’s become superhard for me to not address the outcome of The 100 episode “Thirteen” and the intense fan outrage and backlash against EP Jason Rothenberg, especially from the LGBQT supporters. I’ve read a lot of comments online about how The 100 has used the “dead lesbian trope” and how Jason Rothenberg’s comments on Twitter were misleading fans. I even read comments from people who never watched the show scolding him. It made no sense.
All I can say is…I don’t care about any of that.
It’s not that I don’t care about LGBQT issues, I do. It’s not that I don’t care about politics, I do. But when it comes to science fiction TV entertainment, I don’t watch sci-fi TV for the real life social issues. I don’t watch TV for Gay and Lesbian causes or the causes of any ethnic or special group. It’s TV. I watch for the story and the characters. The 100 is raising human issues in a Dystopian future. It’s meant to be entertainment. Sure, we grow attached. We get angry. We cry. But we move on. The rest of it is social media noise that just kills my enjoyment of the creative process and what goes into making a TV show. What Jason Rothenberg does or anyone else affiliated with the show does on Twitter has no relevance to the creative process or storyline. When it starts having relevance, something is wrong.
Last season, Supernatural really, really ticked me off with the death of the character Charlie. Was I outraged that they killed their only Lesbian character? No. Was I outraged that they killed a quirky, fun, smart recurring character with a great rapport with the leads that I loved watching? Yes. Did I make a lot of noise on Twitter and on my website The Winchester Family Business? Oh yes. Especially when they did it to advance a flimsy plot that was resolved two episodes later. It had no meaning, no significance, and was wrong on numerous levels. There were plenty of other ways to set Dean Winchester off on a rampage. I’m still pissed at Supernatural for the death of plenty of other characters too. To this day, I think killing off Bobby Singer was a colossal mistake. So what if we got one good sweeps episode out of it. The long term effects have been huge.
Anyway, am I holding a huge grudge against EP Jeremy Carver and making accusations that he harbored some malicious intent against women or Lesbians? No. At the Supernatural panel at Comic Con last year, someone confronted Jeremy Carver with the question. Why did they cruelly kill a beloved and strong female character who was a role model for women? Why was she left to die bloody in a bathtub? The person didn’t even mention Charlie was a Lesbian, but that was brought up by the fans online enough times. Carver really struggled to answer that. He wasn’t prepared for the backlash. He didn’t get a lot of support from the others on the stage either, who had previously said they had mixed feelings about that decision. He recovered, essentially explaining it was where the story led them. If you think from the writers perspective, it all boils down to when writers are breaking story in a room and they have a whole season to plot, they probably aren’t thinking, “What group are we going to offend if we kill this character?” They’re thinking, “Will it enhance the story?” They also have to defend that story in times of backlash. It’s their jobs.
Also at Comic Con last year, I was in the press rooms for a variety of sci-fi shows. I sat next to a reporter from The Advocate for several of those sessions. Every single question that person brought up to the actor mentioned the gay marriage ruling of the supreme court and what their character would think about that ruling. I get that that person was catering to the special interest they represented, but I just wanted to hear about what was going to happen on the show for the new season. We only had five minutes. What sort of trials would each character face and what fans could expect? I was also open to stories about the previous season. When politics and special interests work their way into science fiction TV shows, that ruins the true spirit of what entertainment is about. It’s fiction people. Nothing more, nothing less. For the record, I would have been just as annoyed with the questions if the reporter was from a white supremacy group. Unless the show purposely wants to raise a political agenda (take The West Wing for example), it has no business being a part of the fan experience. There is no obligation by producers to address these issues or become a spokesperson for a special interest group.
Jason Rothenberg finally broke his silence to Damian Holbrook at the TV Insider. He apologized for his behavior on Twitter, but he stood by the story choices. They were filming the finale when the season premiered. That decision was made long ago and was a done deal. Fans often forget that TV scripts are not real time and the lag time, especially for a show held for midseason, is months long. He gets to defend his actions to the crowd at Wonder Con this weekend, but he’s doing what a showrunner is supposed to do. He’s standing by the story. Nuff said.
It’s time to leave Jason Rothenberg alone and let him do his impossible job. it’s okay to be pissed about Lexa and how random her death was. The timing of it kind of sucks too, after she and Clarke consummated their relationship. But I see the huge possibilities her death raises. If anyone is taking this deeper than the fact that you don’t agree with a plot decision made by the writers, then you are part of the problematic age of the vocal online TV fandom that is growing out of control. It doesn’t represent most viewers. I’ll have another commentary at another time on how I feel about social media often ruining my TV viewing experience but for now, The 100 at TV For The Rest of Us gets judged only on what they give us, not what happens on Twitter.
I forgive you Jason Rothenberg (and you too Jeremy Carver). Stay true to your voice. I may not like it at times, but I’m still in awe of the creative process. That’s all that matters.