Featured Fan: Layne Morgan from The 100 Fandom

Layne has been a fan of The 100 since the show’s first season. During the filming of season three, she was a writer’s PA. I came across this ask and answer on her Tumblr and thought it warranted putting her in the spotlight as a featured fan this week. Take a look at what she had to say and leave your thoughts in the comment section.
Anonymous asked: Why do people like you and Jason say that the show isn’t about ships but then promote/talk about Clexa and nothing else? We get it isn’t about ships or bellarke but it seems biased when you only care about Clexa and only get mad about shipping when it’s about bellarke.

I normally try not to answer questions like this for the sake of avoiding conflict and things like that but this one is polite and I think it’s something that honestly could use to be addressed or perhaps explained, in some ways, to the fan base so I’m going to do my best to do that.

The first thing I think it’s important to understand is that when someone says “the show isn’t about ships” or when Jason or someone else says they don’t like “shipping” they don’t mean that the show doesn’t have relationships or isn’t about romance or that the relationships it has aren’t important. “Shipping” on the internet is a great thing. People who enjoy relationships on shows make up some of the most passionate parts of the fan base, by far. As someone who has spent many years in tumblr fandom and as part of this culture and community, I understand what it means to really love a relationship on a show, whether that relationship is actually happening romantically, in the narrative or not.

It’s not a stretch to say that the 100 isn’t about romance. I think that’s something most viewers can agree on. That certainly isn’t to say that romance won’t happen or doesn’t happen and that relationships in general, romantic or platonic aren’t important to the story or the characters. They are. But there’s also a far larger story happening and much more going on in than just that, in such a way that the story can not cater specifically to those romantic plot lines. For example, an incredible moment between two characters, like Bellamy and Clarke, as leaders or even as enemies can happen in the show and be about survival or leadership or conflict and not be about romance. I think that’s what people mean when they say “this isn’t about romance” because often, looking for romantic subtext where it isn’t distracts from the true nature of the content.

Now, don’t get me wrong you are free to interpret a story however you want to. You are free to look at glances and conversations and take whatever you want from them. As a girl who has always appreciated and enjoyed femslash ships, I’m very, very used to watching something and enjoying a part of it that isn’t actually in the story. The problem here seems to come in understanding that what you like isn’t owed to you and may not be the writer’s intention and understanding that that’s okay. If a writer says “that’s not the story I’m writing or telling” they aren’t trying to belittle you. They aren’t trying to mock you or talk down to you or crush your hopes and dreams. They’re simply saying that your interpretation of it is merely your interpretation. Your freedom to interpret something, doesn’t obligate the author to your interpretation.

If you come at Jason and you’re talking about Bellamy and Clarke romantically, a lot it doesn’t seem like a stretch that he could begin to start saying “that’s really not what this is about” because that may be how he feels. And if you’re really begging they get together, that’s a wonderful thing and it’s great and passionate and incredible that the story allows you to find something like that in it but again, when Jason says “this isn’t about romance” it’s perhaps just a steering maneuver in the direction of what he’s writing there because when he does address Bellamy and Clarke, he likely means to address it in the non romantic way that their relationship has been thus far.

As for talking about and promoting relationships, again you have to look at what is part of the show. If Jason is talking about Clexa as a relationship, it’s because it’s part of the canon. It’s part of what he’s writing. It’s part of his story. Promoting a poll about Clexa doesn’t steer viewers away from the story that he’s trying to tell. You all have probably heard me talk over and over about Princess Mechanic. I love and adore the idea of their relationship. I also like the idea of Clarktavia and Lextavia and Kabby and many others. There’s a kind of us vs. them mentality that has started among the fandom where for some reason, viewers have put Clarke in this love triangle situation with Lexa and Bellamy that she isn’t actually in. Jason saying something about Clarke and Lexa isn’t a shot at Bellarke. It isn’t meant to insult Bellarke. It’s a part of the story he is telling. Promoting that story doesn’t mean he doesn’t love and appreciate that a part of his fan base likes something else. When he talks about Clexa, I don’t feel offended that he isn’t also talking abut Princess Mechanic. It’s just not part of his narrative, romantically and it’s not something he’s obligated to talk about if he doesn’t feel the need to at the moment.

I realize, in some ways this could sound a little bit harsh. I don’t mean to give the impression that I’m saying “this isn’t in the show, so it’s not important.” That isn’t what I’m saying even by a long shot. I am a huge supporter of crack ships. I’m a huge supporter of wanting to see romance in relationships that aren’t necessarily romantic and a huge believer that fandom and fanficition and shipping are fantastic parts of the television world. What I do mean to say, is that it’s important to understand that a showrunner or writer loves their story and is telling that story for a reason. You  may agree with it or disagree with it. You may like what they’re doing or want to see something else. You may have a little bit of both on different days and at different times. You’re entitled to that. Embrace that. Have fun with it. That’s incredible. But try your best to understand that what you like isn’t a war. If someone else doesn’t like it, they’re not trying to insult you. If someone else does like it and also likes something else, it isn’t a contest. There’s a way to love what you love, no matter what it is, without obligating other people to it.

I don’t blame Jason for blocking people who are always spewing to him about how what he’s writing is an abusive relationship or badgering him to show some kind of fairness or ‘unbias’ when, as harsh as it may sound, he doesn’t owe anyone a lack of bias toward his own story. He’s said before that his favorite relationship on the show is the current, platonic relationship between Bellamy and Clarke. He doesn’t undermine that relationship. It’s a huge, crucial, wonderful part of the story. What you see in it is what you see in it and you are allowed that. It’s a passionate part of fandom that brings a lot of love and attention to the show. I encourage you to do your best to keep it that way. Let it be something that gives you joy in its content and brings you joy in the fan content you create about it and don’t base your love for it on small nods of approval that you’re hoping for or on whether or not Jason talks about a different thing. If you love something, that sort of stuff doesn’t matter. You can continue to love it just as you have been. No one is going to take that from you. No one wants to.