The 100 writer: 'I am grateful for the tidal wave that came down on me'

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Jun 13, 2016, 1:21 PM EDT

The CW’s sci-fi dystopia The 100 has quietly turned itself into a teen-centric successor to Battlestar Galactica, but it drew the majority of its attention this year thanks to a controversial storyline where a lesbian character was killed. So, what did the episode's writer learn with the controversy now (mostly) behind him?

While speaking at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas, writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach opened up about the massive social media outcry that erupted in the wake of Lexa’s (Alycia Debnam-Carey) death just moments after she had sex with Clarke (Eliza Taylor). Fans took umbrage at how much the storyline seemed to stick to the “Bury Your Gays” trope, which led to massive social media campaigns and even a push to have the show canceled (it’s since been renewed).

Though the backlash wasn’t fun, the writer said he’s thankful for the experience and what he was able to learn about how stories affect people via Variety:

“I think the failure was to recognize the cultural impact that would have on the context of the show. The systemic failure to recognize it as an event of the magnitude that it had [outside the show] is the real subject of discussion here. When there’s a bigger issue involved of perhaps if we knew, why did we still go through with it? I think that’s a big issue ... I am grateful for the tidal wave that came down on me. For the exposure and understanding that I received that people are willing to share stories and sometimes the rage, but also other emotions that come with it…the activism that goes on online is humongously important.”

With the dust settled, what’s your take on The 100 controversy?

(Via Variety)