Back in March, on an episode of The 100, lesbian character Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey) was killed by a stray bullet. The plot move set off a firestorm on social media over her death and the treatment of LGBTQ characters in general.
Fans went after the CW show’s writers, accusing them of the “Bury Your Gays” or “Dead Lesbian Syndrome” trope. EP/showrunner Jason Rothenberg was essentially just looking to amp the show’s drama and stakes.
“Jason had a great learning curve on what social media can do,whether you can be adored or hated at a given time,” said Pedowitz, “We’re believers in letting showrunners tell a story. I’m a believer in letting a creative tell a story. If you start limiting certain things, you’re going to start limiting the ability to be creative.”
A reporter mentioned that in the wake of the incident, GLAAD met with many networks to address the treatment of LGBTQ characters. Said Pedowitz, “There’s been no outreach to me from GLAAD in any way shape or form and I’ve had good relations in the past. There’s been none.”
When asked about the writer, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, who penned the heated The 100 episode, Pedowitz deflected, “I think he’s on an NBC series now.” (alluding to the writers’ work on the Xena reboot).
Weeks following the incident in March, Rothenberg issued an open letter to fans. “While I now understand why this criticism came our way, it leaves me heartbroken,” Rothenberg wrote. “I promise you burying, baiting or hurting anyone was never our intention.”
Grillo-Marxauch spoke at the ATX Festival earlier this summer about the controversy, saying, “I think the failure was to recognize the cultural impact that would have on the context of the show.”
“The systemic failure to recognize it as an event of the magnitude that it had is the real subject of discussion here,” Grillo-Marxuach further said at ATX. “When there’s a bigger issue involved of perhaps if we knew, why did we still go through with it? I think that’s a big issue.”