Warning: This article contains major spoilers for recent episodes of The 100.
This has not been a good month for The 100showrunner Jason Rothenberg. In the wake of the Lexa death backlash, actor Ricky Whittle is speaking up about how Rothenberg allegedly bullied him into leaving the show. Whittle’s character, Lincoln, who has been on the show since the first season, was killed off in the March 31st episode, after which Whittle told AfterBuzz TV in a lengthy interview:
At the beginning of the season, [Lincoln] had a whole storyline that was cut, that was just non-existent. [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.
According to Whittle, it was his decision to leave the show because of Rothenberg’s treatment:
He made me walk away from something I really loved. I love the show, I love Lincoln, I love that cast and crew. He forced me to make that choice to walk away, and I’m proud I did it. I stood up and said enough’s enough. My personal well being is more important than this.
Whatever is happening in what is probably a complicated behind the scenes situation, it’s true that Lincoln’s story has been less than meaty this season (though, to be fair, this entire season has been a narative mess). Though Lincoln has never been one of the show’s top priorities, he has been an evolving, fascinating character who managed to get some great development over the course of the first two seasons.
Heading into season 3, he was poised as a character who, in many ways, served as a counter to protagonist Clarke. While Lincoln was a Grounder who chose to assimilate into Sky People culture, Clarke was a Sky Teen who chose to assimilate into Grounder culture. Then, Lincoln spent much of the season cooling his heels in the Arkadia jail before being unceremoniously executed in the latest episode.
Despite his experiences, Whittle encouraged viewers to continue watching the show, praising The 100for its diversity:
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. Literally, the show has everything, so stay with it.
Rothenberg released a short statement in response to Whittle’s interview, saying: “Ricky Whittle is a talented actor; I appreciate his work on The 100 and wish him all the best moving forward on American Gods.” (Whittle has been cast as the lead, Shadow, in the Bryan Fuller/Michael Green adaptation of Neil Gaimen’s American Gods,slated to premiere on Starz in late 2016.)