Last summer, the news came out that Ruby Rose was cast as Batwoman both in the Elseworlds crossover and the upcoming Batwoman series for The CW. While many fans were excited, the move still received backlash for casting someone who apparently was not "lesbian enough." The DC character has been historically a lesbian, and fans are talking back because Rose identifies as gender fluid.
Now, according to ComicBook.com, Rose is responding to that backlash in a very mature way. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Australian actor spoke about her identity and its impact on her career, specifically this new role, explaining:
"Yeah. I came to the States to get into acting, and I couldn’t even get a manager or agent, so I made a short film based on my life because I had the time to do it. I put it online, just to say, ‘This is something I wanted to do,’ and it went viral, which I didn’t ever expect. And then I got an opportunity to audition for Orange Is the New Black because they wanted to have a gender-neutral character. But I’ve also gotten backlash. And that’s when you realize you have to keep up with the terminology. When I got cast as a lesbian in Batwoman, I didn’t know that being a gender-fluid woman meant that I couldn’t be a lesbian because I’m not a woman — not considered lesbian enough."
In response to fans' reactions, Rose eventually took the time to figure out what exactly was bothering people. "My initial response was ‘Pfft!’ And then I was like, ‘Wait. Let me just figure this one out,'" she recalled. "'How do I right this wrong, because if someone out there is upset by this, I need to know why and how to fix it.’ That’s when I sort of said, ‘I’m a woman that identifies as a woman. I’m not trans. But if being gender-fluid means that I can’t identify as a woman at any point, then I guess I can’t be that.’ Maybe I need to make up another term, one that doesn’t step on any toes. One where I can be fluid in my gender, but also a lesbian, because otherwise I’m not sure what I am."
Rose praised The CW, DC and Warner Bros., as they took the time to listen to fans' thoughts and reactions particularly because these characters have existed in many different platforms. Since these aren't brand new characters, fans have expectations, and Rose is taking the time to consider them.
Batwoman will air Sundays this fall on The CW.