If you’re up to date with The 100, you’ll no doubt still be reeling from the shocking losses seen thus far in season 3. If you’re not up to date, spoilers ahead.
As fans have now come to expect, this season has seen two much-loved characters bite the dust. Season 3’s episode 7 saw Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey) smacked with a bullet meant for Clarke and episode 9 saw Lincoln (Ricky Whittle) executed after sacrificing himself to save his fellow captives. It is perhaps Lexa’s death that has caused the most outrage, but fans of Lincoln were no less up in arms. And you can count Whittle among the disgruntled.
As it turns out, it was Whittle’s decision to leave the show, a move he says he was forced to make. Talking with AfterBuzzTV (via TV Line), Whittle claimed that showrunner Jason Rothenberg was determined that Whittle’s character be written off.
“At the beginning of the season, [Lincoln] had a whole storyline that was cut, that was just non-existent,” he revealed, claiming that Rothenberg “abused his position to make my job untenable. What he did was disgusting and he should be ashamed. … He was professionally bullying me, cutting out all the storyline I was supposed to be doing, cutting lines, cutting everything out, trying to make my character and myself as insignificant as possible.”
Whittle clearly isn’t very happy with how he was allegedly treated by Rothenberg, who has since released the following statement:
“Ricky Whittle is a talented actor; I appreciate his work on The 100 and wish him all the best moving forward on American Gods.”
Whittle also spoke out about Lexa’s death, saying that she was “too incredible a character to be caught by a stray bullet.” Indeed, the fans went nuts over that development, with many accusing the show of jumping on the terrible “Bury Your Gays” trope, which refers to the killing of LGBT characters in order to push forward the narratives of main (and often straight) characters.
In a somewhat surprising blog entry, Rothenberg said that it was never his intention to give Lexa a death that undermined the overall narrative or the love people had for her character.
“The thinking behind having the ultimate tragedy follow the ultimate joy was to heighten the drama and underscore the universal fragility of life,” he wrote.
“But the end result became something else entirely — the perpetuation of the disturbing “Bury Your Gays” trope. Our aggressive promotion of the episode, and of this relationship, only fueled a feeling of betrayal. While I now understand why this criticism came our way, it leaves me heartbroken. I promise you burying, baiting or hurting anyone was never our intention. It’s not who I am.”
Whittle’s next television outing will be the highly anticipated American Gods, based on the acclaimed novel by Neil Gaiman. The Starz series will begin in 2017.