Although the CW has done a lot of rebranding over the past few years, there was a time when the most one could expect from a sci-fi series on the network would be a romance taking place in a half-baked world populated by beautiful people who couldn’t act. When The 100 premiered in 2014, that is what many viewers were expecting. However, this series pulled the rug out from under fans in the 3rd episode and has continued to do so ever since. The show is dark, unique, and morally ambiguous. It asks difficult questions, but never grants easy answers.
Aside from the challenging storytelling, spot-on casting, and surprising plot developments, the series also features one of the most diverse casts that you will see on TV. Lauded as a feminist show from early on, The 100 depicts women as heroes, villains and everything in between. However, there is more to the show than its well-rounded female characters. The series is incredibly progressive not only in its treatment of gender, but also of race and orientation as well.
You might think that it would be impossible for the stories unfolding behind the scenes of this post apocalyptic world to compare with what you see onscreen. As action-packed as th series is, though, there is almost as much drama going on when the cameras stop rolling.
Here are 15 Secrets Behind The 100 You Had No Idea About.
15 Ricky Whittle's feud with the showrunner
You know it’s bad when a grown man’s mother gets involved. In March of 2016, Ricky Whittle’s mom took to Twitter to criticize the way that showrunner Jason Rothenberg treated her son.
“Jason Rothenberg abused his power to make my job untenable,” Whittle has stated. In that same interview the American Gods star also slammed Rothenberg’s handling of not only his own character’s death, but Lexa’s as well, calling it “weak” storytelling.
According to Whittle, who played Lincoln, his relationship with Rothenberg devolved over time to the point where he could no longer work with The 100 showrunner. Although the controversial deaths caused many viewers to call for a boycott of the series, Whittle made it clear that he would never support that.
Regardless of his feud with Rothenberg, Whittle wants fans to continue watching what he still considers to be a great show that he remains proud of.
14 Lexa's death sparked a huge controversy among fans
It’s pretty crazy that a series once so praised for its ethnically diverse cast, bi lead, and feminist message became the poster child for the “Bury Your Gays” television trope. The fan reaction to Lexa’s death was intense to say the least, with viewers reporting difficulty sleeping and high anxiety over the loss. It didn’t help matters that the showrunners all but assured viewers that Lexa would make it to the season finale alive.
The issue was that Alycia Debnam-Carey had to leave to begin filming season 2 of Fear the Walking Dead and the writers felt that she was too important to merely make only the occasional appearance. Still, her exit could’ve been handled differently and certainly not taken place immediately after she consummated her relationship with Clarke.
Episode writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach handled the situation with compassion, but although Rothenberg issued several apologies, they mostly fell flat with fans.
13 Steve Talley was fired after fans discovered his offensive Twitter account
The relationship between Raven and Wick was heating up, or at least it was until the writers made the decision to have Raven break up with him off screen. Rothenberg claimed that this was a result of her character pushing everyone away.
That might be believable if not for Steve Talley’s Twitter account, which was rife with offensive content, from racist jokes to references to the actor’s KKK membership. These comments were probably meant in jest, but no one else was laughing.
The account was unverified, leading some fans to wonder if it really belonged to Talley at all. However, his followers, which included costars and writers from the show, left little doubt as to its authenticity. Talley was fired after fans discovered the account, effectively ending the relationship between Raven and Wick.
12 The show’s viewership has dropped since Lexa’s death
The amount of followers to Jason Rothenberg’s Twitter account wasn’t the only number that plummeted in the wake of Lexa’s death. The 100’s numbers took a major hit after that episode aired and the series has never fully recovered. While it is true that many shows lose viewers as they progress, this change seemed to coincide with the loss of Lexa.
The week after the controversial episode aired, many fans refused to watch the show, instead using a competing Twitter hashtag of #LGBTFansDeserveBetter. Considering the drop in viewership, their suggested boycott appears to have remained in effect for at least a portion of the show’s audience. For quite some time, the series stayed around the 1.5 million mark, but since Lexa’s untimely demise, The 100 hasn’t managed to crack 1.3.
11 Why Isaiah Washington was fired from his other major gig
There has been an undeniably high amount of drama behind the scenes of Grey’s Anatomy. The first hint that trouble was brewing on the set of the much-adored medical drama was when costars Isaiah Washington and Patrick Dempsey nearly came to blows. During the fight, Washington – who now plays Thelonius Jaha on The 100 – uttered a homophobic slur in reference to fellow Grey’s actor T.R. Knight.
Washington only made matters worse in the wake of the incident. After repeating the offensive word in question during an interview, he also proceeded to first apologize for what he had done, but then later deny that it had happened at all.
The most tragic part of all of this was that Knight hadn’t actually come out yet and instead of doing so on his own terms, the actor was outed by the scandal.
10 Wells is a main character in the books
It really appeared as though Wells Jaha (Eli Goree) was going to be a major character on The 100. He had all the makings of a leading man and seemed integral to the story. However, the series proved to fans in only its third episode that no one was safe. Wells’s death at the hands of Charlotte was as horrifying as it was shocking – as was Charlotte’s fate in the next installment.
Anyone who has read Kass Morgan’s book series will tell you that the novels share little in common with the show, save the premise. One of the earliest deviations can be seen with the death of Wells, who is a main character in the books. His is one of several different POVs followed throughout the entire story. Also, he and Bellamy are half-brothers!
9 Marie Avgeropoulos is older than she looks
There is a long tradition of actors in their twenties playing teenagers, from Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase in Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Andrew Garfield playing Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man. When cast, the actors were twenty-seven and twenty-eight years old, respectively, but both played high school students.
While sometimes an actor’s age in painfully obvious, other times they appear to be the same age as the character that they are playing.
Such is the case with Marie Avgeropoulos, who plays fan favorite Octavia Blake. The actress was twenty-eight at the time of her casting as the youngest of all the teens. Not only does Avgeropoulos blend in with the rest of the cast, but she actually looks younger than several of the costars that are a few years her junior.
8 Raven was meant to be killed off during season 1
It’s not really surprising that the writers planned on killing off Raven Reyes in the show’s first season. She was a complication to the Clarke/Finn relationship and a lesser show may have treated her as nothing more than a plot device. However, Lindsey Morgan brought so much to the role, impressing not only viewers, but also the showrunners.
Raven was a guest star in season 1 and rather than being given the death originally planned for her, the twenty-six year old actress was granted a reprieve. Morgan was made a series regular the next year.
Raven has been through a lot since then, but through it all remained a fan favorite. She became one of very few characters on television who was disabled, but not defined by her disability.
7 Richard Harmon (Murphy) wanted the role of Bellamy Blake
While we’re on the subject of Octavia Blake, let’s also talk about the brother who devoted his life to protecting her, Bellamy Blake. Although Bob Morely won the part, he obviously was not the only actor interested in it. In fact, his costar Richard Harmon read for the very same role.
Harmon went on to be cast as Bellamy’s sometimes ally, sometimes enemy, John Murphy.
Although the producers never revealed why they made their decision, it’s obvious that both actors are happy with the outcome. Each of these characters is incredibly complex and both of them evolved a great deal over the course of the series.
Fans may not agree with all of the choices that the producers make, but we can all concede that they chose wisely here.
6 The CW wanted the show to be even darker
Many believed that The 100 would be just another CW series full of pretty people and romances that overshadowed every other element of the story. Although it is true that the network has spent the last few years giving itself a superhero makeover, when The 100 premiered in 2014, there were plenty of naysayers. Luckily, most of those people ate their words after they actually watched it.
When discussing the series, CW head Mark Pedowitz told Jason Rothenberg, “If you make what is perceived to be the CW version of this, you will not succeed.” After watching a particularly brutal early episode – one in which three hundred innocent people die – Pedowitz told the showrunner that he could go even darker. Apparently, Rothenberg took this to heart.
5 Raven was supposed to be Finn's mother
Early on, The 100 threw a major wrench in the gears of the relationship that seemed to be on its way to becoming the show’s central romance. Fans watched the tension between Clarke and Finn reach a boiling point, but shortly after they gave into their feelings for one another, Finn’s girlfriend found her way down to Earth. Thankfully, the series didn’t draw the triangle element out for very long and made Raven so much more than just Finn’s girlfriend.
What many fans don’t know is that in the original script, Raven was actually Finn’s mother.
However, the writers decided instead to make her more like the character of Glass from the books. Rather than mother and son, Finn and Raven became childhood pals whose friendship eventually evolved into a complicated romance.
4 The show was picked up before the first book was even published
One of the reasons that the show and the source material have so little in common is because at the time of the first season’s production, the later books hadn’t actually been written yet. Jason Rothenberg became interested in adapting the series before the first book was even published. The 100 premiered in March of 2014, while the first novel was released September of 2013. This leaves little room for the two to share many similarities.
It’s not as though Morgan’s novels were influenced by the show either.
The two are almost completely separate entities.
Beyond the premise, the story has taken completely different forms. The characters bear little resemblance to their TV counterparts and the plot is completely different. So, for better or worse, you can’t read ahead to learn what exactly is in store for your favorite characters.
3 Real World star Jordan Wiseley auditioned for Roan
The character of Roan first appeared in the show’s third season and he became a series regular the following year. He was the second Grounder to become a main character. (The first was, of course, Lincoln.)
Jordan Wiseley, best known for starring in The Real World: Portland actually auditioned for the role. This was revealed after the reality star’s audition tape appeared on Vimeo a couple of years ago. Surprisingly, it’s actually not as awful as you might think.
Clearly, the producers chose a very different direction though, instead casting Zach McGowan. Fans of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would recognize him from his role as Anton Ivanov. At this point, it is difficult to imagine any other actor bringing Roan to life the way that McGowan did.
2 Eliza Taylor never actually auditioned for the role of Clarke
Generally, actors have to fight long and hard for the roles that they want, especially early on in their careers. They often have to go on one audition after another, sometimes making it through several rounds of tryouts only to lose the part to someone else. However, this was not the case for Eliza Taylor.
She landed the lead lead role of Clarke Griffin without actually auditioning at all.
The producers looked at an audition tape Taylor had done for a film several months earlier and asked her to come in and read. She went in for a meeting the next day and wound up getting the part. It’s a good thing too, considering the actress was ready to pack her bags for Australia after her credit card was stolen and she found herself broke in LA.
1 Henry Ian Cusick was sued for harassment in 2009
Known for playing Desmond Hume on Lost, Henry Ian Cusick currently portrays Marcus Kane on The 100. Kane initially appeared as power hungry and somewhat villainous, but has since evolved into a more self-aware character who strives to become a better man.
Cusick happens to know a little something about having a troubled past.
The actor was sued for harassment in 2009. Chelsea Stone, an ABC staffer who worked with Cusick on the set of Lost accused him of making unwelcome advances that included kissing and groping her. Apparently, Stone was fired less than two weeks after reporting the 2007 incident to her superiors. She sued Cusick, ABC and Hawaiian production company, Grass Skirt Entertainment. Stone eventually settled out of court, but the terms remain confidential.
Do you know any other secrets behind The 100? Let us know in the comments!