The 100's Ricky Whittle Claims He Was Bullied Off the Show, Slams Lexa's Lackluster Death — EP Responds

The 100‘s latest castoff is not going quietly.

Speaking with AfterBuzz TV on Tuesday night, Ricky Whittle — whose fan-favorite character, Lincoln, was killed on March 31 — revealed that it was his choice to depart the CW drama, but only because he felt it was his only option.

“At the beginning of the season, [Lincoln] had a whole storyline that was cut, that was just non-existent,” he revealed, alleging that showrunner Jason 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.”

And Whittle, who is set to lead Starz’s upcoming American Gods, takes issue with more than just Lincoln’s storyline. He noted that Lexa was “too incredible a character to be caught by a stray bullet,” and that turning Pike into a villain has “taken away from his complexity.”

Despite his strong feelings about the show’s direction, as well as his own character’s mistreatment, Whittle encouraged fans not to give up on The 100:

“You still have to remember we have a bisexual lead [in Eliza Taylor’s Clarke], 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. Stay with my family. Stay with my friends.”

UPDATE: Rothenberg has released the following statement: “Ricky Whittle is a talented actor; I appreciate his work on The 100 and wish him all the best moving forward on American Gods.”

Watch Whittle’s full interview above — it’s over an hour long, but the “good” stuff starts around 19:45 — then drop a comment with your thoughts on Lincoln (and Whittle’s) departure.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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88 Comments
  1. Mark says:

    Everyone is a cry baby now. Complain about everything. Waaahhhhhh….waaahhhhhhh

  2. Z says:

    His storyline could have been cut for many reasons.. maybe it wasnt working, they wanted to focus on other characters… his performance wasnt good enough… who knows.. but to claim it was all some personal vendetta by the EP just sounds like sour grapes to me.

    • Jerry says:

      Considering how rushed everything seems this season I can’t imagine squeezing in more story for Lincoln. If anything the show should have given us flashbacks of Farm Station the first few episodes to try and humanize that group a little more. As is they are a pretty terrible bunch of people.

      • MN says:

        I love Lincoln on this show! One of my favorite characters. Why couldn’t him and the big wig just drop the beef and do the show?

  3. Roger says:

    Frak. I knew Lincoln was dead as soon as Ricky signed on as a series regular. That’s usually a definitive sign that the character they’re currently playing is going to die. This new is quite sad because I like the 100 story, deaths and all.

    • DCL33 says:

      Actually, the killing off Lincoln, as in episode written and filmed happened before he was cast in American gods.

  4. ? says:

    Dude, be professional. Man.

    • The Kaibosh says:

      No kidding! I wonder if he’s ever heard the phrase “you’ll never work in this town again” because he will now.

      • One says:

        Suure, that’s why he was hired for Ameircan Gods… Gimme a break

        • Lucifer says:

          Well both Bryan Fuller and Staz have enormous track records for not having their shows last beyond a few seasons, so he won’t have a job for too long.

          • Simon Jester says:

            American Gods is a *much* better gig than The 100. You’d have to have some pretty high-powered fan blinders on to believe otherwise.

          • Lucifer says:

            @Simon. I never said it wasn’t. I pointed out that while he has a job, for which he was hired after he publicly bashed his former boss, his new bosses have bad track-records when it comes to keeping a series on the air.

            However, since you brought it up… The fact that American Gods has more money and a built-in fanbase makes no difference. Outlander has a 20+ year fan base, yet the ratings for season 1 were very weak. It’s clear one of the main reasons Starz didn’t cancel it yet is because they poured so much money into the project to just cancel it after one season.

      • K N says:

        That is not true, he is good looking and talented. I wish his character remained, it made the story line better. he was a major link to the grounders between the sky people. Plus too many deaths takes away from connecting to the characters. If every character you like and begin to understand dies, whats the point of watching more?

  5. Sarah says:

    Such a shame, I really loved Lincoln and Lexa so the show has been a real disappointment this season. Won’t be tuning in anymore, though I hope any of the fans that do stick around are able to enjoy the rest of the season.

    P.S. The article incorrectly says May 31st instead of March.

    • tvjunkie says:

      It’s a disappointment because it’s hard to believe the people of the ark as so stupid to follow Pike on a road to their own destruction. Some of the characters have done stuff for which I don’t think they can be redeemed. For example, with all the slaughtering Bellamy has done I’m hoping he gets killed off. His character is completely redeemable at this point.

  6. Et al. says:

    At least he isn’t having his mommy fight his battles anymore.

  7. Ian says:

    And they hired this guy to be Shadow?! Unbelievable.

    • peterwdawson says:

      Of course! He gives a damn about the show he’s working on. The dude’s got passion. If you have passion, odds are you’ll actually try when you need to do that acting thing that your job requires.

  8. Roger says:

    Sucks. I’m enjoying this season a lot. Nothing I hate more than people who watch only for their relationships and not the story.

  9. Brigid says:

    We only have this guys word that he had a big story line coming up. How do we know he isn’t just being sour grapes? You should never burn bridges because you might not get back across.

  10. Belle says:

    I am glad he’s come out and told the real story…someone needed to! I agree with everything he said above, I don’t have first hand knowledge of it specifically but I did notice from episode 1 this season that things had really changed from the basic premise and that Lincoln was left hanging out in the cold with little to no air time. Lexa deserved a better ending, Lincoln did too…and don’t get me started on Finn :( Best wishes to you Ricky, find a show that values your talent and awesomeness!!

    • Dmac says:

      Your right you don’t have first hand knowledge just the word of a disgruntled actor who was upset that his story wasn’t big enough. Anything other then that is pure conjecture.

      • Apex says:

        Just like you don’t know everything he said might be true

        • Belle says:

          Thank you! He was made a full fledged cast member early on, us viewers wanted more so TPTB promoted him…and then he was front and center and then abruptly his scenes and talking parts were very few and far between :( something happened and frankly it was clearly an upper-tier show runner who took the character a different way and wrote him into a corner. Sure most people think it’s the actor that causes trouble, but in this case it doesn’t seem that way. Just sayin’

  11. Pamela says:

    I respect his honesty, too many fakes out there. yet he didn’t go nuts about it either which is the way to go.

  12. NM says:

    “I wanted to leave in season 2” – No one made you sign a series regular contract. To complain about lack of screen time this season is ridiculous. Jasper, Jaha and Raven are utilised when needed this season. The problem with this actor is that it’s his ego that got in the way. If Jason wanted him gone, he’d have killed him earlier without hesitation. He’d done it with people before. It was only until he said, “I’m done, write me off” and so they did. Another T.R. Knight if you ask me.

    • Anne says:

      Many people stay in jobs where they are not happy. A relatively new actor of colour is no exception. A pay check is a pay check. Stay there until something better comes along.

      • Shin says:

        He’s only really “relatively new” in the US. He’s been pretty huge in the UK for well over a decade. Played a hugely popular character on one of the UK’s top drama series for a few years (Ryan Naysmith on Dream Team) and was a runner-up in Strictly Come Dancing, the show that DWTS is based off. I’ve been following his career since 2002.

    • Sarah96 says:

      Agree..if Jason is such an awful bully and hate this guy so much he would kill him already. Seems to me he is just sour his character didn’t do much this season and he didn’t get the storyline he wanted..lol
      He might be sad he didn’t get more work but to accuse the showrunner of deliberating mess with his work because of god knows what, it’s just an awful thing to say..and with the mess with Lexa and the hate some fans have been spreading this just seems like another reason to try and blame everything that people don’t like on the showrunner. He even starts criticizing the death of another character and the way Pike character is going..i mean really? And then after saying all that he has the balls to say to people keep watching the show blah blah blah like he wasn’t criticizing everything a few minutes before
      He just seems like he has a big ego and when he doesn’t have something the way he wants he turns the blame towards someone.
      His character is not the only one who has few storylines this season and he never seems to think they took a turn with this character this season because it was planned from the beginning that he was going to die or because this was important move to make a new storyline to Octavia…
      He seems he got the leading role he wanted.

      • NM says:

        The direction of this season has changed heavily, but if people are paying attention to detail they’d realise that it’s much bigger than just Sky Crew this season. Lexa was featured heavily and for good reason. The linking of origins of Space Station 13, Grounders and Sky people is prominent this season. All the cast have been in and out of episodes and it has been like that since the series began. There have been seasons where some characters are prominent in some seasons and not in others. Ricky had more screen time last season than some characters last season. Sometimes the writers scrap ideas last minute, it’s their job. I don’t see the actors who play Jasper, Raven, Jaha complaining. Hell, even Monty and here and there. The writers have good reasons for their decisions and I’d rather a character not appear for an episode or 2 if it’s valuable to the storyline.

    • K N says:

      He was a major link to the grounder and sky people. He should have stayed longer.

  13. Sarah96 says:

    So he is sour they cut his storyline? Maybe they had decided he was going to die, didn’t like the way the story was going or they simply wanted to makes his dead a big impact towards Octavia and her development . When I hear he said he was bullied by Jason, the showrunner, I thought he was the one suffering and that for some reason Jason wanted him out of the show. This just seems like a guy who didn’t get what he wanted in this season in terms of work and his know complaining about it…lol
    I feel for his character and the weak storyline he had this season..but to blame this on a personal attack for god knows what reason is stupid. I’m sure the writers and even the rest of the crew have more important things to worry about than to bully him into quitting the show.

  14. Cate53 says:

    I’d heard rumours about his disenchantment with Jason Rothenberg and his mother tweeted criticism of Rothenberg too. Still it is surprising an actor would burn his bridges and come out and criticise a producer so openly. Whittle is a Brit so maybe he thinks even if this other show doesn’t work out, he can always head back over here. Maybe he also thinks now is not a bad time to be critical as the show is under a lot of scrutiny after the PR nightmare of the Lexa death backlash.

    Must admit, I was never the biggest Lincoln fan but this has been a weird season. Has he really had significantly less screen time than Raven, Abby, Kane, Murphy, Monty or Jasper? He was never the number 1 star. This season has probably had more screen time for Lexa than most of those others. Apart from Clarke, you could argue everyone else is a supporting character. With the new characters like Titus and Pike, and them squeezing all the Lexa time they could before she had to leave, most of the others have had abbreviated story lines.

  15. fernanda says:

    wow, this season is terrible. every character remotely good dies and then we have bellamy and pike, who murdered 300 sleeping people. i’m not sure about pike, but i’m 100% bellamy will be redeemed and it’s not fair at all

    • dean says:

      Don’t forget the 300 Arkers that died because Bellamy stole the radio, and the 300 grounders that died because of the flares that only had to be sent up because Bellamy stole the radio.

    • Radha says:

      It’s not fair? What’s not fair is how horribly written Bellamy’s character has been this season after all the progress he made.

    • tvjunkie says:

      They might write a redemption story for Bellamy, but it won’t be believable. There’s no redeeming what he’s done this season. He’s as much of a monster, if not more so than Pike.

  16. Jenn Larsen says:

    Ricky’s character was literally the reason I continued to watch the show. I always wondered why his character was not shown more. I won’t be watching the show anymore. I’m sure that won’t effect the ratings much but there are so many tv shows and sites that offer so many choices that once I start watching another show I will forget this one. I did enjoy the concept of the show but people watch tv to feel good, all I would see is how stupid it was to kill off Ricky Whittle’s character. Good luck on your next adventure Whittle.

  17. Luli says:

    This has not been Rothnberg’s season. I imagine the past month has been hard with all the backlash surrounding the show.

    Still mad about Lexa’s death, and now Lincoln’s but people need to move on.

  18. dioxinblues says:

    I don’t even watch The 100 and I have such a negative opinion of its showrunner. He sounds like a piece of work.

  19. Wouter says:

    Honestly i don’t really get the outrage. Show has always kinda sucked and being kinda sexist and suddenly when those feelings are more outwardly shown (Lexa’s death) people throw a hissy fit. Like where were you for all the previous episodes?! Did you guys really not see this coming?!

    • Gohier123 says:

      How is this show sexist? It is packed with strong, independent, capable female characters. Nearly all of the leaders in this show are women: Clarke, Lexa, Ice Queen and her protege, Abby, ect. And about Lexa dying, that wasn’t some attack on gay female characters, she was bound to die sooner or later, she kept pissing people off and betraying people in a very dangerous world, plus she had another show to get to. This guy sounds ungrateful, he should be happy with the lines he got, its a big cast, and when he finally did get killed off it was in the most heroic and noble way possible. He sounds like a cry baby.

  20. M2B says:

    Interesting that he waited till now to speak out, knowing the show has been under scrutiny the last few weeks. So throw it under the bus and trash the weak storylines but then say continue to watch? That’s not confusing. Sounds like a disgruntled worker that sees an opportunity to stick it to management.

  21. Liz says:

    Weird how there’s no outrage about this, the death of a POC, and yet Lexa fans went crazy over her death. Hmmm.

    • Dizzle says:

      Apples and oranges. I personally have no problem with Lexa’s death given everything it’s done to move the plot along, but I can see that killing off a queer character who is in a relationship with the show’s lead – another queer character – is a big deal already in that you’d be hard pressed to find many other sci fi shows (hell, many other shows – period) with queer characters as leads. Add in her fairly central role to the show’s major storylines at the point of her death and it’s a big loss.

      On the flip side, Lincoln has always been a supporting character, his most meaningful connections have been with other second-tier supporting characters, and honestly this season his input has been minimal so his loss isn’t as acutely felt within the dynamics of the show.

  22. A fan of TV says:

    Finn deserved nothing. Let’s all move on from Finn. Finn’s actor could not act and his character went dangerously insane.

  23. A fan of TV says:

    At no point in the video does he offer any explanation for WHY he thought Jason was bullying him, and equates lack of storyline with being bullied. There are two sides to every story, and I’d love to hear Whittle admit what he said to Rothenburg in the past to get on his nasty side. Instead I’m seeing him equate cut storylines with ‘professional bullying.’ Meanwhile, he sits down for an interview and proceeds to slag the crap out of his former boss, which strikes me as professional bullying, too.

    I get it. Rothenburg isnt a friendly boss. He might even be a terrible boss. But he keeps taking the high road while people try to drag him down and smear his name. At some point, people need to sit back and accept their own role in crappy workplace relationships, and this ill-advised interview won’t help Whittle’s career at all…

  24. Dominique says:

    it’s fascinating how everyone’s telling ricky to shut up and not take it out on a few people, yet that’s exactly what all the lexa/clexa fans have been going for the past month.
    nobody should go to work and feel like they’re not being taken seriously, that they’re just there for show instead of actually doing something, just because the boss says so.
    it’s a daring move to spill all, but i don’t blame him.

  25. Will Snow says:

    people let the guy say his peace. He said he felt he had a horrible working environment, he didn’t like his bosses. he felt like he was bullied. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t want to show to be cancelled he said that the show is tremendous he just hates his bosses, for being bullies. At the end of the day don’t we all hate our bosses because I don’t like mine .

  26. Mike says:

    I have had bosses that were total dicks. I still stuck with those jobs. Your an actor you’ll have on occasion terrible bosses unless you become a showrunner and head writer yourself and that way to get to treat your actors in an way you see fit.

  27. Beverly Charlene Goff Meadows says:

    Lincoln was one of my favorite characters, which is why I loved watching 100; So sorry, the actor who played Lincoln, that his talent was not appreciated. I will continue to watch the show; but I will not look forward to it as much as I previously did. Good luck Ricky Whittle, with your new endeavor!!!

  28. josh says:

    look, his story could have been cut for a number of reasons, but if the allegations of Rothenberg’s behavior (ie. not returning calls/emails to an ACTOR ON HIS SHOW, cutting planned storylines etc) is true, then Rothenberg has dug himself into another huge hole. Considering the Lexa saga, i would have thought he would be trying to avoid controversy as much as possible.

    The fact is, Lincoln has been treading water with nothing to do for this whole season. They could easily have transferred his character to the “grounders capitol” storyline, which would actually help texturise a story/location with very little series regular characters involved. Rothenberg would have known this, so under-utilizing Whittle was an active decision.

  29. asm says:

    This is also probably why Finn (Thomas McDonell) was killed of in season 2. He was supposed to be a major character, and his death made no sense at all.

  30. denise unkefer says:

    Killing off Lincoln off the 100 was a disturbing choice ..the only choice to make the 100 ..was for he and Octavia to conceive a child..and bring peace for the show..in the end

  31. Mara says:

    it takes courage to speak up, especially against people who have authority and control. I think Ricky was brave.

  32. Willaim Tasko says:

    I worked on THE 100, and Whittle was an unprofessional pain in the ass. He never knew his lines, he constantly screwed around and wasted time, and was a distraction while the other actors were trying to work. It’s pathetic that his mommy is claiming he was “bullied” off the show, while at the same time he claims it was his decision to leave.

    Every day he cost the company time and money.

    He was killed off because he was an a-hole.

  33. Sawyer says:

    I liked Lincoln’s character until I read this article. First Ricky “states he was bullied, and his scenes were reduced in S3”. Hello the first 7 episodes were devoted to Clarke and Lexa. The cast is to big and viewers have their fan favorites. I think Pike and Arkadia is a reason Lincoln didn’t have more scenes. Now that it’s been a week, he comes out with this interview, talking about Lexa’s death should have been written better. Then he tells people to still watch the show. The actor has no loyalty to his cast members and adds fuel to the fire with the bulling and hits LBGTQ with another gut punch. Ricky is saying he didn’t get much screen time, well Abby, Monty, Raven, Jasper didn’t get much screen time either. I don’t consider lines or scenes, as being reduced when most people are watching the show because of Clexa, not Lincoln. I don’t know if he is being bullied or not. Ricky seems to be passive aggressive and pretty much gave the finger to the show before it airs tonight, but keep watching the show because it is good. Really. I don’t care for a person who has his Mother tweeting her son is being bullied the man is what 34 years old. Not a peep from him in the first 9 episodes to speak out about Jason Rothenberg. I am no fan of Rothenberg personality, but The 100 has been great this season. Man talk about throwing someone under the bus. What an ass. You all enjoy his new gig.

  34. M says:

    This season’s been a travesty of in both management and writing. I hope the network takes notice.

  35. Ade says:

    I don’t know why actors think they’re entitled to storylines. Your job is to play a character on screen, it’s your employers job to develop their story.

  36. Sarah says:

    I was really bummed about Lincoln’s death, but honestly the worst part of this disappointing season, at least for me, has been Bellamy’s arc. What a fantastic character who had made incredible progress and growth, and then this season…ugh. It makes no sense what they’ve done to him. He’s unredeemable. Plus I can’t stand Clarke STILL not being reunited with her people. The only bright spot of this whole season is Kane and Abby. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to keep me. But seasons 1 and 2 were some great tv!

    • Sarah says:

      Also I’ll totally be looking up the clip of when Octavia gives Pike what he deserves because that’s definitely going to happen, right? And it will be awesome. Okay so 2 bright spots this season.

  37. liame says:

    Good for Whittle. These high and mighty azz wipes like to abuse their power for personal reasons. Whittle will always find work because he’s a great actor with a look to die for.

  38. Evelyn says:

    I was so upset with the killing of Lincoln. That was a bad move.

  39. Teresa says:

    I was really disappointed when he was not in more shows, when his character had no substance in this season. He could have made the series much better than it is this year.. I do not blame him for choosing to leave. The deaths of Lexa and him in such a short period of time sort of takes the people I really liked out of the show.

  40. Julissa says:

    I’m not watching the show any more!

    • Dakota says:

      I liked the Lincoln character, and did notice that his character had less and less appearance on the show. So disappointed that he wont be in the show anymore. I don’t like Clarke character and even though Lexa was helping save the asky people, i won’t miss her.

  41. AdamJ says:

    Killing Lincoln really wrecked the show. How dumb. He alone, and also with Octavia, good characters, connecting with audience and promising for the story. Such a foolish move killing off that character.

  42. shavonta says:

    I’m very dissapointed in the direction the 100 is ging in its like a mixture of stories that don’t make sense. Lincoln was an amazing actor and i am very upset he is not one the show anymore he did not have to die like that after everything he did , he made me watch the show . so now im not very interested anymore.

  43. Dawne says:

    I didn’t like the exit of Lincoln from the show… But, particularly, the WAY he died. There was no internal reward or satisfaction for the viewer – especially those who like the character of Lincoln and hi tole in the show – whatsoever.

    The writers handled it with no class, imo.

    At any rate, if what Mr. Whittle has shared is truly the case… what goes around comes around, for whatever it’s worth.

    Still wondering what happened to Indra (umm, where was she??) and Roan in the season finale last night….

  44. at least him dying brought out some emotions in the show and to make people feel emotional about something is good. however personally I really wanted to see Linctavia as well but the show did seem really busy with other storylines anyway. also to see what was going to happen with Luna would have been good. xx

  45. robo920 says:

    Sad…show started out great, but I checked out as soon as Lincoln was killed off. Glad Ricky got a new gig. Hope it lasts as we’re so easily distracted these days. I however, continue to watch Firefly…much rather rewatch one amazing season than several garbage ones.

  46. I have to agree with Ricky Whittle on this. The death of his character felt so rushed and was extremely anti-climatic. We are talking about a guy that was nearly untouchable and found himself in so many bad situations, somehow he was almost always able to find a solution to save himself or he found resources to help take the problem head on. He was not the only character to have been done this way, as he mentioned about Lexa’s death playing out in the dumbest most obvious way humanly possible. This show used to be good but now they will just kill anyone off to add room for a new face on the show. I guess they think that people are still going to watch for character development alone? Not me, this show just feels like a waste of 45 minutes of my day now. Some of the dumbest most off the wall situations will happen just to create conflict. For example, the election of “Pike”. This was the low point of the show. He decides to gather a force to try to sneak out of the gate to take on the army and gets caught. One single guard at the gate agrees with him and says “I think you should be on the ballet” one grunt plus the handful that he had with him was enough to get him appointed for Chancellor? Like I said, off the wal! throwing stuff just to see if it sticks. It’s science fiction I know but lord please come up with some more believable content.

  47. jana says:

    I started watching online and fell in love with Lincoln. I stopped watching when they killed him off and I WILL NOT WATCH another episode!!! Hope to see more of him in the future!!!