If you’re still heartbroken over Lexa’s sudden and shocking death on The 100, you’re not alone.
After Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and Clarke (Eliza Taylor) finally consummated their relationship, the Commander tragically died in a freak accident after Titus aimed to kill Clarke, but accidentally shot Lexa.
Suffice it to say, there was a swift outcry from fans, particularly among the LGBT community, who were upset that a show as progressive as The 100 seemingly turned to the TV trope of killing off a lesbian character just after a particularly happy moment in her life. (A very long list can be found here, but Tara on Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a prime example.)
Ahead of the Fear the Walking Dead panel at PaleyFest on Saturday, Alycia Debnam-Carey told EW she was “surprised by the intensity and the fury” of the fan reaction after Lexa’s death. “I don’t think anyone on the show expected such social outcry,” she said. “I think any attention we can draw to a movement like that is an amazing thing, and is a great thing to pursue and keep working towards.”
Some fans of The CW’s post-apocalyptic drama have called for a boycott in the wake of Lexa’s death — only one episode has aired following her exit; the show has since been on hiatus. “It is important to note that the decisions only ever come from love and trust within the show,” Debnam-Carey said. “I don’t think it was ever intended to aggravate anyone in a social situation. There’s so much love for that character, like from me, from the writers and from Jason [Rothenberg]. I hate to hear people wanting to not watch the show anymore for a certain reason like that. I do understand, of course, it’s a social issue. If people are feeling that way, it’s really important to recognize.” Get scoop on what’s next from Rothenberg here.
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As for how she personally felt about Lexa’s exit, Debnam-Carey stressed that it felt definitive, though she stayed mum on whether Lexa could potentially return. “When I’ve watched characters that I love and adore on TV shows and they’re sent off without a really defining moment or a clear cut reason, I get annoyed, because I’m like, ‘Well, that’s lazy, like, maybe they’ll go, maybe they’ll come back,’” the actress said. “I’m not a fan of that type of storytelling usually. I like that it was a very passionate and then heartbreaking moment.”
“I think it was so emotionally overwhelming,” Debnam-Carey continued. “The reaction that sparked within people, where I’m reading texts and tweets from people saying, ‘I’m crying and in tears,’ to be able to say you’re a part of that is an amazing thing. I hate thinking people thought it was insensitive, because it was such a beautiful episode for us to shoot as well.”
While some fans may feel deprived of exploring the Lexa and Clarke relationship further, Debnam-Carey notes she had “personal obligations in my work life as well,” referencing the fact that she’s a series regular on Fear the Walking Dead. “For me, it was trusting the writers and knowing that we would make the most out of what we had,” she said. “I think while the show has relationships in it, and it’s a show about people coming together, it is not a romantic-based show. So in any way or form that manifests on its own, it’s not the sole focus.”
The 100 returns Thursday, March 31 on The CW, while Fear the Walking Dead kicks off its second season on Sunday, April 10 on AMC.