Last week, the CW network made headlines when it announced Ruby Rose had been cast to play Batwoman, aka Kate Kane, in a crossover episode of Arrowverse set to air this December. Rose, a gender fluid actor from Australia, will be playing the first openly gay superhero. But after the casting decision was praised, many on social media erupted in a fierce backlash, prompting Rose to bail on Twitter.
“The Bat is out of the bag and I am beyond thrilled and honored,” the 32-year-old wrote in a post on Instagram, adding that a character like the one she will play “is something I would have died to have seen on TV when I was a young member of the LGBT community.” But the warm and fuzzy feelings quickly turned to bullying, as often happens, on Twitter. Initially, she received a warm reception, but over the weekend Rose decided to deactivate her Twitter account as the backlash to her casting as Batwoman spiraled out of control.
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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.
Even Mariah Carey was touched by Rose talking about the singer’s “Hero” getting her through tough times when she was being bullied at school.
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) August 9, 2018
But then came the avalanche of criticism. Some took issue with Rose’s acting experience, others accused the network of “goywashing” by not acknowledging the character’s Jewish heritage. There was even a groundswell on social media to support another actor, Ashley Platz, who didn’t get the role after. Her audition tape for the Batwoman character leaked online and many though she should get the part. But Platz took to social media to tamp down the call for a casting change and express her support for Rose.
According to BuzzFeed, the criticisms of her sexuality were the tipping point for Rose. “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,” she said in a post on Twitter, BuzzFeed reported, before she shut down the account.
Batwoman was introduced by DC Comics in 1954 as a romantic interest for Batman, but since 2006, she’s been portrayed as openly gay. Though she has abandoned Twitter, Rose still has her Instagram account active. She is the second performer in recent weeks to come under heavy fire over a role she was cast to play. Last month, Scarlett Johansson backed out of a role in which she was set to play a transgender man amid a vocal outcry from many who said the role should go to an actual transgender actor. It’s not even clear if that movie will actually still be produced.
Read the full story at BuzzFeed.