The 100 has come under fire again for another offed character — but this time the criticism comes from one of its stars.
In an interview with AfterBuzz TV, Ricky Whittle, who played Lincoln on the dystopian drama until his death in the March 31 episode, condemned the way showrunner Jason Rothenberg came to write Lincoln off the series. The actor — who landed a lead role on Starz’s upcoming American Gods — alleges that behind the scenes, Rothenberg diminished Lincoln’s role, “bullying” him off the show.
“At the beginning of the season, [Lincoln] had a whole storyline that was cut, that was just non-existent,” Whittle says around the 19:45 mark in the video above. “[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.”
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In response, Rothenberg released a short 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.”
During the same interview, Whittle also reflected on the death of Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey), the love interest of the show’s protagonist Clarke (Eliza Taylor). The fan-favorite character, he says, was “too incredible a character to be caught by a stray bullet,” echoing the criticisms of fans who protested her death for falling prey to the TV trope of “burying your gays.” Rothenberg later apologized for the way the drama killed Lexa off, saying, “Despite my reasons, I still write and produce television for the real world where negative and hurtful tropes exist. And I am very sorry for not recognizing this as fully as I should have. Knowing everything I know now, Lexa’s death would have played out differently.”
But despite the controversial character deaths on the show, Whittle encourages viewers to continue tuning in. “You still have to remember we have a bisexual lead, we have Bryan and Miller, we have various black characters who are in power, we have powerful women,” he says. “Literally, the show has everything, so stay with it.”
The 100 airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.