The 100’s Javier Grillo-Marxuach says show didn’t consider the “cultural impact” of Lexa’s death.
During the GLAAD’s “Bury Your Gays” panel at the ATX Television Festival, a writer behind The 100‘s most controversial episode admitted that the show didn’t recognize or expect the social impact of lesbian character Lexa’s sudden death on the show.
“The systemic failure to recognize it as an event of the magnitude that it had [outside the show] is the real subject of discussion here,” said Javier Grillo-Marxuach, who wrote the fateful episode in which Lexa (portrayed by Alicia Debnam-Carey) was shot and killed by a stray bullet just after having sex with Clarke (portrayed by Eliza Taylor) for the first time.
The episode hit hard in a string of lesbian and bisexual character deaths during the 2015-2016 television season along with a string of other shows including The Walking Dead, Empire, Jane The Virgin, and The Magicians. Most fall under the “Bury Your Gays” trope the panel is named after in which a gay character is killed off in order to further the plot of other (usually straight) characters.
“I think the failure was to recognize the cultural impact that would have on the context of the show,” Grillo-Marxuach continued.
He also said he is “grateful for the tidal wave” of social activism and fierce response following Lexa’s exit from the show. “For the exposure and understanding that I received that people are willing to share stories and sometimes the rage, but also other emotions that come with it…the activism that goes on online is humongously important.”
In the outcry, fans and creators have teamed up to created The Lexa Pledge, which calls for better, meaningful representation of the LGBTQ community in television and the end to the “Bury Your Gays” trope. Javier Grillo-Marxuach acknowledged the pledge but says he hasn’t signed it because he won’t make promises he can’t keep.