Warning! Major spoilers for The 100 season 3, episode 7 ahead.
The hashtag #LGBTfansdeservebetter went viral on twitter during spring break after CW’s The 100 killed off one of their recurring characters, Lexa, to progress the plot and because the actress was leaving the show to work on AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead.
The largest problem fans had with the character dying was that she was a lesbian who right before her death had successful romantic endeavors and fell into the a trope called Bury Your Gays, or Dead Lesbian Syndrome. This trope has to do with the fact that lesbian and bisexual women are often killed off in a show, and as of this moment there’s over 148 lesbian and bisexual women dead in the course of the last 3 decades. Within this time period, only 18 couples from 16 shows have survived to live a happy ending. Considering the amount of representation these women get, the amount of deaths is huge, and since the happy endings are so rare, fans are angry.
Show writers and runners should be more aware of the characters they write and produce, considering that their shows are what give people representation; they should be more concerned in properly representing those people. If they did more research on LGBT representation and understood how often lesbians and bisexual women are killed on television shows, then this situation would not have happened.
Having an LGBT character in a show is enough to draw in an audience, and The 100 tried to make it clear that it was progressive. Showing the relationship between Clarke, the protagonist, and Lexa got people invested in the series, and in this situation can be referred as queer-baiting: when a show tries to reach out to its audience by seemingly portraying an LGBT character or relationship, but it never truly becomes canon. Even though the relationship between Clarke and Lexa was shown to be mutual and shown on screen, it was quickly ripped away and did not become an endgame relationship. When this happens in a show it perpetuates the argument that same-sex relationships are just a phase, and that people who experience same gender attraction won’t get happy endings.
Using an excuse that the show falls under the Anyone Can Die trope does make the subject a bit iffy, however considering the way Lexa died, quickly after making love with her romantic interest as a way to further drive the plot, the creators should have taken a different route to remove the character from the show. It’s understandable that since the actress can’t work on the show anymore that they probably had to change the plot a little, and that since it is a show that has many casualties, the character dying was treated as any other death that could help the plot. A lot of fans argue that even if Lexa died, if she had died in a different manner, such as in battle or let her relationship with Clarke live out longer before her death, that they would’ve been fine. But the largest issue was that she died because of her sexuality and that her romance with Clarke was too short lived.
As of this moment, CW is already trying to do damage control, and the show runner and writers are realizing that they made a mistake. However, this should be a lesson for other show runners and writers that they need to do more research on the groups of people they portray in a show. Writers should try talking to a few LGBT community members about what they would like to see in the show, and certain things to avoid, trying their best to gather research about the person they’re trying to portray. It’s a way that writers could avoid stereotyping, create more dimensional characters, and properly give representation to those they want to put into their stories.
For more information you can visit the LGBT fans deserve better site.