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‘The 100': CW Boss Defends Controversial Death, Cast Member Exit

TCA 2016: ”We’re believers in letting showrunners tell their stories,“ Mark Pedowitz says

CW president Mark Pedowitz has weighed in on the controversies that surrounded the previous season of the post-apocalyptic drama “The 100,” from a lesbian character’s death to a cast member’s comments on leaving the show.

“We’re believers in letting showrunners tell their stories,” Pedowitz told reporters after his panel at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour on Thursday. “If you start limiting certain things, you’re limiting their ability to be creative.”

Showrunner Jason Rothenberg caught flak from fans and media alike for consummating the relationship between Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and then immediately killing off Debnam-Carey’s character, citing the availability of the actress who is a series regular on AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead.”

Pedowitz thinks the biggest lesson from the fallout is how showrunners and fans interact on social media.

“I think he got a great learning curve for what social media can do,” he said. “Be adored or hated at any given time. … My take on this is: That was much more of a social media reaction, and how Jason handled the social media reaction.”

The exec said that neither GLAAD nor other organizations reached out to him regarding workshops or sessions to prevent such mistakes from being made in the future.

Pedowitz also addressed series regular Ricky Whittle‘s exit from the show, which was punctuated by an interview in which Whittle described being bullied by Rothenberg.

“We had conversations for a long time about Ricky’s character, Lincoln. It was a great character. Jason felt for a very long time that he had written that character into a box,” Pedowitz explained. “We felt differently. There was a long discussion about this. At some point, Jason found he had a great way for Ricky’s character to be written out so that Marie’s [Avgeropoulos] character could go forward in some way shape or form. Ricky’s comments about number of lines and all that — Ricky was a great performer for us, but it’s the showrunner’s right to decide how many lines an actor gets per episode.”

Pedowitz also reiterated that he’s a big fan of ‘The 100,” still.

“I love that show,” he said. “I really do. I was one of the people who encouraged Jason to do a very dark show. We had long discussions about the first part of the season last year, being a little confusing, with the Ice Nation and everything else. But it picked up in the second half. It will be much more interesting stories next season.”