You Can’t Fight While Killing

You Can’t Fight While Killing

Oh Ilene Chaiken, you’re quite a piece of work.

In a recent interview with People Magazine, Ilene is portrayed as being one of the people fighting against the Bury Your Queers trope.

This is the same woman who killed off two lesbians and turned around to tell Variety that her show wasn’t “part of that phenomenon or conversation.” She went on to remark that one of the lesbians was a fake lesbian and we should all be happy she was dead.

Putting that aside for a moment, she went on to tell People some impressively ignorant things:

“In what I do, which is make popular entertainment, it’s been a lifelong battle for representation,” Chaiken, 58, tells PEOPLE. “I think there’s nothing more important than seeing ourselves reflected in the media, in our entertainment, in characters that speak to us. It means everything. It saves lives, it builds futures, it builds hope.”

“I wasn’t aware of it for the longest time,” Chaiken tells PEOPLE. “There is some legitimacy to the outrage. [The 100] didn’t know what they were doing. Now that it’s been flagged, I predict that it will change and change fast.”

“I don’t think it’s an excuse, but I don’t think it was done knowingly and consciously,” Chaiken continues. “Now that they’ve been made to understand what they’ve done, you’ll see it change.”

I don’t think anyone really believes she was ignorant of the trope. She spouts the line that we should see ourselves reflected in media, while having her lesbians killed off, written off, or sent to jail.

Even if we’re to give her the biggest benefit of the doubt, that she didn’t think it meant her, her remarks sound rather two-faced. She is somehow claiming that she’s part of the fight for positive representation while dismissing the claims that she perpetuates it. Chaiken is, in short, killing queers while arguing they should live.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to change your approach. It starts with “I didn’t think that my show fell to these tropes because …” and it ends with “However I can see why many people feel it does, and I will strive to do better in the future.” Chaiken isn’t even doing us the grace of lip service to this issue.

She’s seeking rewards and accolades for protesting a crime she’s guilty of.

As I said. What a piece of work.

About Mika A. Epstein

Mika has been deep in fandom since she could say 'Trekkie.' With decades experience in running fansites, developing software, and organizing communities, she's taken on the challenge of delving into the recesses of television for queers long forgotten. Making this site with Tracy is nothing short of serendipity. Mika lives with her wife and their cats in Southern California. Of course she has a hybrid, but she'd rather ride her bicycle.
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