After it was announced last week that gender fluid actor Ruby Rose had been cast as a lesbian Batwoman in a planned TV series, both she and many other were thrilled by the news. However, others have taken issue with her casting, which has caused Rose to take a break from Twitter.
Ruby was overjoyed to have been cast, telling Jimmy Fallon last week, “I’m so thrilled. It’s a game changer. Growing up [and] watching TV, I never saw somebody that I could identify with… let alone a superhero!”
She added on Instagram, ‘The Bat is out of the bag and I am beyond thrilled and honored. I’m also an emotional wreck.. because this is a childhood dream. This is something I would have died to have seen on TV when I was a young member of the LGBT community who never felt represented on tv and felt alone and different. Thank you everyone. Thank you god.’
However, it didn’t take long for the social media critics to come out and perhaps surprisingly the objection wasn’t that Batwoman was going to be gay on the small screen – her alter ego Kate Kane has been gay in the comics for several years – but the Rose wasn’t gay enough to play her.
The John Wick: Chapter 2 and The Meg star decided to step back from Twitter and turned off comments on her Instagram following the backlash, saying ‘Where on earth did ‘Ruby is not a lesbian therefore she can’t be Batwoman’ come from — has to be the funniest most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read. I came out at 12? And have for the past 5 years had to deal with ‘she’s too gay’ how do y’all flip it like that? I didn’t change. I wish we would all support each other and our journeys.’
She added that she was going to take a ‘break from Twitter to focus all my energy on my next 2 projects… If you need me, I’ll be on my Bat Phone.’
While some did criticise her casting, many others have leapt to her defence, pointing out that having a queer woman cast in a major role who is open about her life and the fact she is outside the gender norms is still incredibly unusual. Indeed, it should be seen as a sign of genuine progress, but in an era where some people’s first instincts are to assume they should be outraged about everything, it was inevitable there would be critics.
Rose will first be seen in crossover episodes with other ‘Arrowverse’ characters such as The Flash Supergirl and Green Arrow this December, with plans for her own series to start airing in 2019.