It’s pride month, and everyone has their own way of celebrating it, from parades to private parties; admittedly, The 100 producer Javier Grillo-Marxauch’s way is a little off the cusp.
At the ATX Television panel in Austin, Texas, Grillo-Marxauch sat with the writers and producers from Shameless, Faking It, and The Originals–all shows with gay characters–to talk about the reason why Grillo-Marxauch’s head, more than anyone else on that stage, has been held to the fire for the last couple of months. After all, there’s only one reason why The 100, which normally pulls a meager viewership weekly on the CW, rose to national attention earlier this year–the “Bury Your Gays” trope.
Said trope is when a gay, lesbian, transgender (really, anyone who falls on the spectrum) character is killed off for no reason other than to move a straight character’s plot-line along. In the case of The 100, warrior woman Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Clarey) was killed fairly immediately after getting together with another woman, Clarke (Eliza Taylor), which instantly set the “Clexa” fandom ablaze.
Initially, the show-runner for The 100, Jason Rothenburg, apologized for the decision to kill Lexa off, but at the panel today, Grillo-Marxauch took on a different offensive.
“I am grateful for the tidal wave that came down on me,” says the producer, Variety reports. “For the exposure and the understanding that I received that people are willing to share stories and sometimes the rage, but also other emotions that come with it.”
He added, “The activism that goes on online is humongously important.”
Grillo-Marxauch’s bristles appeared a little bit when he spoke more about the Twitter backlash against Lexa’s death, stating that he felt like Caitlyn Jenner on ESPN, when she said, “Give me your rage. I can take it.”
To The 100 producer, Lexa’s death was a moment for the LGBT community to have a conversation with the world about the existence of gay relationships. “The same pen that created those relationships is the one that created the outcome that we see today.”
Grillo-Marxauch’s fellow panelists were positive about the outcome of the Lexa death as well, as Faking It Carter Convington spoke to his defense. “This is storytelling, and I think The 100 is getting assaulted in the end. I think they’re giving fans this amazing chance to meet each other online and on Twitter. There’s so much good The 100 is doing for our community.”
The Originals writer Carina MacKenzie also celebrated The 100 backlash. “I’m really glad this conversation [about Bury Your Gays on Twitter] is happening at all, and that’s because the fans of…a tiny little show on a tiny little network…has now changed the way we talk about television.”
Unlike the panelists, however, Twitter’s response was exactly as sour as the day Lexa died.
— sam (@lexaswife) June 11, 2016
If you’re aware of the #BuryYourGays trope when you chose to perpetuate it, that doesnt absolve you, that just deepens the guilt.
— Dubious (@DubiousCA) June 11, 2016
— Shelbi (@policevest) June 11, 2016