The 100 was plagued by a couple controversies during its third season when two fan-favorite characters, Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and Lincoln (Ricky Whittle) were killed off. The controversies were quite different, but still something the 2016 summer TCA press tour reporters wanted to ask CW president Mark Pedowitz about.
Whittle, after his character’s final episode, went on AfterBuzz TV and claimed that The 100 creator Jason Rothenberg was “professional bullying” him by “cutting lines, cutting everything out, trying to make my character and myself as insignificant as possible.”
To that, Pedowitz tells Zap2it that The CW never wanted Lincoln to be killed off, though it’s not up to the network.
“We had conversations for a long time about Ricky’s character, Lincoln, who was a great character,” says Pedowitz. “Jason felt for a long period of time that he had written that character into a box; we felt differently. There was a long discussion about that. At some point we found that Jason had a great way for Ricky’s character to be written out so [Marie Avgeropoulos’] character could go forward in some way, shape or form.”
But as for Whittle’s complaints, Pedowitz says that’s the life of an actor.
“Ricky’s comments were about number of lines, stuff like that — he’s an actor, number of lines. Ricky was a great performer for us, but it is the showrunner’s right to make whatever how many lines an actor gets in a particular episode.”
Pedowitz echoes the same sentiments regarding Lexa’s death earlier in the season.
“We’re believers in letting showrunners tell their stories, I’m a believer in letting the creators tell their stories. If we start limiting certain things, then we’re going to start limiting the ability to be creative … I’m one of the people that encouraged Jason to go to a very dark show. For me, he knows how to tell a story,” says Pedowitz, adding that while he did not actively encourage the show to kill off Lexa, he doesn’t really play a part in creative decisions.
Pedowitz also reminds us that Debnam-Carey was not available to The 100 for the entire season.
“She was not available, she’s a series regular on Fear the Walking Dead. She is a great actress, Jason had a way to do something to pivot it to the second half of the season and her death allowed him to pivot that way, so we supported it.”
Either way, Pedowitz does say that Rothenberg has definitely learned something from the social media backlash.
“What Jason has done, Jason has done to himself. I think he got a great learning curve with what social media can do, whether you’re being adored or hated at any given time. … I think there was much more of a social media reaction and how Jason handled the social media reaction.”
The 100 returns midseason on The CW.