Actress Tatiana Maslany has responded to backlash from fans of her show Orphan Black, after its third season finale saw the character of Delphine - a love interest to one of Maslany's characters, Cosima - shot by an unseen assailant.
Fans are now accusing the show of employing what's been referred to as a "lesbian death trope". There have been 11 violent deaths of lesbian or bisexual characters on television in the past few months and the hashtag #BuryYourGays has taken off on social media.
Now, Maslany, who is also a producer of the show, is speaking out against the backlash from fans, saying that it's "reductive" to make her death about her sexuality.
"There’s a bizarre focus on the fact that she’s bisexual or a lesbian and has been killed off, and that really reduces her to one thing in representing something, as opposed to being an individual,” Maslany told The Star.
“I find that to be a problematic complaint."
Maslany argues that Delphine's character is “so much more than her sexuality" and that the backlash discredits that.
She did note that she could see why fans were upset, saying: “I understand because there’s such a lack of representation and 3D representation and you’re protective of those characters."
Orphan Black co-creator Graeme Manson chimed in, arguing that to not kill Delphine's character would be fanservice that would ultimately be detrimental to the quality of the show.
“If you did everything that the fans wanted, it wouldn’t be a drama anymore. There would be no mystery to it," he said.
"Delphine and Cosima would just be naked in bed and that would be the show. We’d just keep cutting to them over and over and everyone would be happy, right?”
New episodes of Orphan Black will be available on SBS On Demand every Friday at 6pm (AEDT) from 15 April, just hours after the US broadcast.