Actor Ruby Rose has quit Twitter after receiving backlash from her casting as Batwoman, one of the most exciting members of the Batfamily on the CW.
Batwoman is going to be part of the CW’s Arrowverse, which includes The Flash, Supergirl, and of course, Arrow. The character is going to first appear in an Arrowverse crossover special, with potential to launch her own series in 2019, and Batwoman herself appearing on TV brings with it some weight.
That’s because Batwoman was reintroduced in 2006 by DC Comics as a lesbian street fighter, so Rose is set to portray the first gay superhero to lead their own TV series. The CW was adamant about a member of the LGBTQ+ community taking on this role.
Ruby Rose came out as a lesbian at the age of 12 and identifies as genderfluid, so, when the casting was first announced, this seemed to be a big win for TV and the LGBTQ+ community.
Rose wrote 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.”
And there was plenty of initial praise online for Rose’s casting.
Stephen Amell, who plays Arrow, tweeted: “Hey @RubyRose — Welcome!! It’s characters like Batwoman that will carry our Universe into the future. See you soon!”, and even Mariah Carey congratulated her, after Rose said that Carey’s song “Hero” was an inspiration to her growing up.
But soon enough, a backlash started that eventually forced Rose to leave Twitter.
They bragged about auditioning only lesbian actresses and one of them could have had her breakout role playing one of the most iconic lesbians in comics and they just…gave the part to Ruby rose.
— Ambar of Themyscira (@bittervzlan) August 7, 2018
no tea no shade but is ruby rose the only lesbian actress hollywood knows or do they just don't want to take any chances by hiring an unknown lesbian actress and giving her a chance to rise in her career? https://t.co/bawz1mRled
— gabi (@harleivy) August 7, 2018
And it’s not just criticism about her acting abilities either.
Kate Kane, Batwoman’s alter ego, is also presented in the comics as a woman of Jewish descent. And Ruby Rose is not Jewish.
I'm disappointed that Ruby Rose was cast as Batwoman considering it's a complete erasure of Kate Kane's Jewishness. They should have cast a Jewish lesbian to play a Jewish lesbian character.
— Alice (@yolowoho) August 7, 2018
The hashtag “RecastBatwoman” has been trending on Twitter for day, and many online are asking the CW to give the role to actress Ashley Platz, whose audition was posted to Twitter the day the announcement was made.
— taylor (@lesbicorp) August 7, 2018
Seeing so many people #recastbatwoman and rooting for me. First: I appreciate how much support and love you’re sending my way. Second: I know This role means a lot to Ruby (it would mean a lot to me) and she will work her ass off to fulfill the character. #Batwoman
— Ashley Platz (@AshleyPlatz) August 7, 2018
After all the backlash, Ruby Rose deleted her Twitter account over the weekend.
Her last message on the platform read, in part: “When women and minorities join forces we are unstoppable… when we tear each other down it’s much more hurtful than from any group.” She continued: “I am looking forward to getting more than 4 hours of sleep and to break from Twitter to focus all my energy on my next 2 projects. If you need me, I’ll be on my Bat Phone.”
This is one of the really unfortunate aspects of modern online culture. Fans are undoubtedly passionate, and they have every right to criticize or even abandon a show or film that they don’t feel is living up to its source material. But we’re also so quick to voice disapproval online when we feel like our appreciation of a character or franchise is being ignored.
Yes, representation is important. And maybe the CW should have worked harder to cast someone who was both in the LGBTQ+ community and Jewish. But our instant reaction culture can often have unintended consequences. And in this case, it resulted in someone feeling so bullied and intimidated that they felt they had no choice but to leave the discussion.
Entertainment writer Alisha Grauso wrote: “Ruby Rose gets cast as Batwoman and people are such a-holes they chase her off Twitter. This is why fandom is awful now. No one is happy about anything. Ever. Enjoy all your creators leaving social media because you’re terrible and left them with no other choice, fanatics.”
But we want to know what you guys think. Who’s right and wrong in this debate? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.