Hey, kids. Batwoman, a lesbian superhero is coming to TV — that’s pretty cool. And guess what? She’ll be played by a lesbian actress — a pretty big deal. What’s more, the lesbian actress is genderfluid and she’s famous: She’s Ruby Rose from Orange Is the New Black. But weirdly, LGBTQ Twitter seems furious about the Ruby Rose Batwoman casting, and we’re left scratching our heads.
Last month, the CW announced a Batwoman series in development with its creators seeking a lesbian actress for the lead. There was a bit of sniffling from the usual conservatives who always come out to say representation doesn’t matter because “Um, it’s called acting,” but generally, LGBTQ and feminist media welcomed the news with open arms.
The new Batwoman show has some pretty great LGBTQ bonafides, too. The producer, as with so many CW shows, is Greg Berlanti, the openly gay TV creator and director of Love, Simon. Caroline Dries, a writer and producer for Batwoman, is also an out queer woman.
The show will also be the first live-action superhero series with an openly lesbian lead character and, with the Ruby Rose Batwoman casting, we’ll have our first genderfluid actor ever to have a lead role in a TV series.
When Scarlett Johansson wanted to play a trans man, concern-trolls argued that films about queer characters need big names to get made. So, seeing as Batwoman is canonically queer, Ruby Rose is that big name.
But LGBTQ Twitter is upset precisely because Rose is, apparently, too famous.
okay but casting ruby rose as batwoman truly is a big fuck you to all the lesbian fans like they don't care about the rep they just wanted to cast a lesbian to have good press so they just gave it to her cause she's well known and liked by straight girls
— justine (@MVGGIESDANVERS) August 7, 2018
There are some slightly more valid reasons to be upset at the Ruby Rose Batwoman casting decision, though. Some are mad because the character is canonically Jewish, which Rose is not. Rose has also been accused of outing Demi Lovato, when in 2013, Rose spoke about sleeping with the singer. And, others have said it would’ve been a good opportunity to cast a lesser-known actress to give her a career boost.
While we can understand some of those criticisms, having an out queer actress play a queer role on a major TV network is still serious progress in the right direction.