Last week, it was announced that Ruby Rose, a non-binary actress who first came to the attention of many in her role as Stella in Orange is the New Black, will be Warner Bros’ choice for the role of Batwoman in the upcoming DC TV series. Excitement from fans of both Rose and Batwoman was tangible, but as last night revealed, not everyone is so ready to welcome Rose to the role. In a slew of complaints and backlash that lead to the actress leading twitter, the question of her identity and race in comparison to that of the comic version seems to be the most poignant issue that fans are raising.
Batwoman has been a lesbian according to the comic canon since 2006. Many young LGBT+ people and comic fans received the revival with open arms and excitement. However, the announcement of intentions by Warner Bros to cast Rose as the first openly gay superhero on screen was met with disappointment by some and outrage by others. Eerily reminiscent of the community’s issues with cisgender actors being ascribed trans roles, many took to Twitter to air their complaints.
No one is bullying ruby rose we are rightfully calling out @TheCW the role of #Batwoman should have gone to a Jewish lesbian which RR is neither she has stated that she identifies as gender fluid not lesbian she wrote it herself on Twitter#RecastBatwoman #RepresentationMatters
— Angel Barrera (@Angelynnbarrera) August 12, 2018
“Where on earth did ‘Ruby is not a lesbian therefore she can’t be Batwoman’ come from?” Rose asked, addressing the backlash before closing her twitter account. Contrary to some, Rose claims “I came out at 12?” assumedly referring to her status as a lesbian.
Not to leave the studios without a second option, there has been a tide of support for Ashley Platz’ audition for the role that was leaked to further the argument against Rose’s involvement in the project. Many are questioning why Platz, who is reportedly gay and Jewish, did not receive the role. As well as the issue of representation, many are citing Platz as a more appropriate choice on the basis of her acting being stronger than the other.
Rose remains active on Instagram but has disabled comments for accounts that she isn’t following. A pilot has been confirmed for the Batwoman series, which is as of yet untitled, and a date for the pilot is still awaiting release.