The 100 has never exactly been the lightest show on The CW, and Season 3 may be going even darker than Seasons 1 and 2 put together. In addition to the regular mud and misery facing the survivors of the nuclear apocalypse, Bellamy has turned into a murderer and Lexa was killed in the afterglow of a love scene with heroine Clarke. Now, the bad has taken a turn for the worse as longtime Grounder ally Lincoln was executed. This death meant actor Ricky Whittle could speak his mind about his experiences on The 100, and he definitely went off.
Lincoln was not supposed to die this season…At the beginning of the season, he had a whole storyline that was cut, that was just non-existent. It was my choice to go…This is going to be the most controversial thing I will say, is that basically [creator] Jason Rothenberg abused his position to make my job untenable. What he did was disgusting and he should be ashamed. A lot was made of what my mom said all over Twitter, but everything she said was true. 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.
Ricky Whittle’s explanation to Zap2It of the circumstances behind his departure are shocking, not least because he’s probably ruled out any possibilities of working again on The CW in the near future. (And possibly vice versa, depending on how network execs reacted to this.) It’s hard to believe that such difficulties were going on behind-the-scenes, given that Whittle never seemed to give any less than his best in his performances as Lincoln. He may have felt that he no longer had a place on the show with Jason Rothenberg, but he always delivered in the role.
Of course, even without the conflicts behind the scenes, it would be hard to blame Ricky Whittle for wanting to leave The 100. For a character that has been around since almost the beginning, and one who has been a major connection between the survivors of the Ark and the Grounders, Lincoln hasn’t been given all that much to do except glower, take off his shirt, and/or bounce from Blake to Blake for conversations. According to the actor, the writing just wasn’t there for him to want to stick around.
Every time a script would come through, I would see literally nothing for Lincoln. He’s not doing anything. It was never about screentime, it’s an ensemble cast and that’s as it should be. You have peaks and troughs. But it was why he had no screentime.
The interview does shed greater light on the tweets from Whittle’s mother that vaguely lambasted Jason Rothenberg for his treatment of her son. Knowing the reasoning behind Whittle’s decision to leave The 100 makes it somewhat easier to cope with the loss of Lincoln. Hopefully, Ricky Whittle will find better luck in his role as Shadow on Starz’ American Gods, and that he'll continue to find work after burning a professional bridge so publicly like this.
The 100 has been renewed for a fourth season, so the show will be around without Ricky Whittle for a while longer. For a look at what shows will be on the airwaves over the summer, check out our list of premiere dates.