In early August, prompted by leaked audition tapes for new season 3 characters, an ‘insider’ appeared on a popular lesbian forum with a thread dedicated to The 100, and began to interact with the fans. They identified themselves as “Your Friendly Neighborhood Lurker” and as someone who works on the show. They also identified as straight, despite the forum being a safe space for lesbian individuals to engage with one another.
“Your Friendly Neighborhood Lurker” announced that they were there for rumor control and to answer questions about canon. They also stated that they had a fondness for Clexa. They enjoyed engaging with the community on the lesbian forum and took pleasure in reading what the fans had to say about everything. While interacting with fans, they even tried to come up with ‘non-spoilery’ ways of responding to questions about the plotline.
Aug 4 2015, 02:37 AM
Sorry, just catching up (busy day at the office…)
Full disclosure: What we speculated last season when episode 209 aired has evolved slightly in the discussions for this season. It’s more like 2-3 years.
Aug 4 2015, 02:49 AM
I’m not Jason (yes, I know, no way to prove that.) He’s far too busy now that production has started to read forums. That’s why his tweeting has dropped off (though his asst sometimes retweets articles on his behalf).
– YFNL (Your Friendly Neighborhood Lurker) :spy:
P.S. I’m here because I enjoy reading what you all have to say. Obviously, you don’t have to censor any criticism on my account (and yes, most of you will look at me askance as a fake because…well, I would.)
Aug 4 2015, 02:51 AM
She was in L.A. today.
She looks lovely in glasses, btw.
– YFNL :spy:
Aug 4 2015, 02:55 AM
Let me get back to you. Gotta figure out the most non-spoiler way to answer this and yet satisfy.
– YFNL :spy:
Aug 4 2015, 03:05 AM
Total oversight. No one thought to take a photo until she was gone!
(I said it was a busy day.)
Last post today. Don’t want anyone here asking questions… and it’s cool if you are skeptical. You should be. Always.
– YFNL :spy:
Aug 4 2015, 03:08 AM
(okay really, last one)
I only jumped in around page 220 of this thread. Tracking down leaks. Stayed because y’all are funny.
As far as I know, I’m the only one currently checking in here…but, if someone else does and sees my posts… let’s just say, I’m dipping in a toe and not a whole foot so as to keep my cover. Also, I in no way intend to spoil anything for anyone. I’m here for rumor control and questions about canon.
Keep on, keepin’ on, ladies…
– YFNL :spy:
One of the major points “YFNL” made, was to reassure people about something that had been posted on social media.
Alycia Debnam-Carey had stopped by The 100 office and signed a poster to Jason with the following:
“Thank you for this opportunity. Jus Drein Jus Daun.”
Many fans took this as a goodbye note to Jason, suggesting that Lexa would be dying this season.
YFNL, in their capacity as “Rumor Control,” discredited that theory, stating that there was no goodbye implied and that Alycia was simply thanking Jason.
Of course, by the time Shawna Benson stopped by the board to reassure fans and “help them sleep better at night,” she was already aware of Lexa’s death. In fact, even media members were aware of Lexa’s death at that point. Eric Goldman, of IGN, joked that Kim Shumway had accidentally spoiled Lexa’s death for him at Comic-Con, weeks before Shawna visited the thread.
Aug 4 2015, 02:43 PM
Not an official poster. I believe Jason bought it on Etsy. ADC signed it for him because he asked. No “goodbye” implied by thanking the show creator for casting her in a great role.
Aug 4 2015, 03:28 PM
I already said to keep an eye on TCAs.
Maybe we’ll finally get an episode total announced…
But yes, that too could be guessed by anyone. It’s logical to announce that kind of thing at the TCAs.
The problems with “verifying” who I am are two-fold:
1. If I tell you something that would clearly identify me as being part of the show, I’d blow my cover with my coworkers.
2. You will continue to consider me a fake anyway.
So, I’ll live with #2 rather than run the risk of #1. I’ll pop in from time to time when I see things are going south and you need a little sanity. Maybe I’m legit, maybe I’m not. Either way, I intend to make you sleep better at night as you wait for the show to come back.
Now I’m going away for awhile, because clearly I’ve posted too much in the last 48 hours.
P.S. Like pretty much everyone else, I am ship-agnostic. But I have a fondness for Clexa that cannot be denied. And I’m straight, since someone asked my orientation. I’m here because you guys amuse me. And this is completely unsanctioned, hence why I can’t prove anything.
Fans felt more reassured after YFNL’s posts and presence in the forum; the confidence in Lexa’s survival rose even more when “YFNL” revealed herself to be Shawna Benson, a staff writer on The 100. She confirmed this on her twitter account.
Aug 4 2015, 07:38 PM
You guys have clearly had too many issues with this in the past, so I’ll just let it go.
Would’ve been fun.
– YFNL a.k.a. Staff Writer Shawna Benson @TeelaJBrown
See you when we premiere!
Although Shawna stated that she would not be back following the August posts, a Merry Christmas message to the same lesbian forum showed differently. Shawna referenced a series of inside jokes and names from the thread, demonstrating that she had been hanging around the forum and reading posts, even possibly engaging with the community on an anonymous basis. According to the forum, for Shawna to understand the inside jokes she was making on her twitter account, she would have had to be on the thread often.
Dec 25 2015, 06:29 AM
Thank you for a great year. Love you all and sorry about all the drama.
(Yes, its really me. Check Twitter for validation)
This situation as a whole raises a number of questions about proper social media engagement between fans and creators. Was it wrong for fans to feel comforted when a writer on the show specifically seeks out their fan spaces and their LGBT+ spaces to reassure them about their favorite characters and relationships on the show? Should the creators really feel blindsided by the fan response when they spent time during the hiatus on lesbian-specific forums and read hundreds of posts that discussed the fans’ fears of Lexa’s death? Is lying to fans just to preserve the “shock twist” in the show really the right way to go about telling stories? Let’s discuss.
TLDR; shawna benson invaded our safe space to reassure us of Lexa’s survival when she’d been dead for months