Say it ain't so, "Batwoman"
Updated: Jun 10
The CW's Batwoman has been the hot topic of queer fandom since it was announced nearly a month ago that its lead, Ruby Rose, would be exiting the series.
While it was pretty shocking news that the out actor was leaving the show, subsequent developments have proved even more jarring. First, the news that Kate Kane, Batwoman's secret identity and a beloved character with a storied history herself, would also be leaving the series as well. According to Batwoman showrunner, Caroline Dries, instead of recasting Ruby Rose (a fairly common occurrence, and one that audiences can handle because we're grown-ups), she and producer Greg Berlanti decided to hand over the mantle of Batwoman to a completely new character, Ryan Wilder. Ryan will be a younger, scrappier version of Batwoman according to TPTB. She'd also be a lesbian. To say fans were frustrated would be an understatement. One couldn't help but feel that Batwoman is just playing musical lesbians and plopping a new queer woman into the cowl and cape. But dear reader, that isn't where the story ends.
Reports came out on Tuesday that not only would Kate Kane be replaced, but that the series was possibly killing her off completely. Pardon me for a moment but, holy shit.
Bury Your Gays is still an issue, and the CW network should know that better than anyone. In 2016, The 100 killed off major lesbian character Lexa, resulting in not only enraging a fandom but forcing a much needed, deep look at how LGBTQ characters are treated on television. Since then, there has been an outcry against such tropes, and many LGBTQ characters are not only surviving but thriving. However, killing off the first and only title lesbian superhero on television, ON HER OWN SHOW, smacks of all kinds of bad decisions.
We have yet to hear from Dries and Berlanti about this decision, but here's a look at the Batwoman fandom on Twitter today. 6/10/20: See update below.
Before today's scoop on the death of Kate Kane, I asked Batwoman fans how they felt about losing Kate as Batwoman. An overwhelming amount of responses were that of frustration and disappointment while a handful of fans were on board with a big change. Many fans brought up the fact that Batman has been played by many actors over the years. Others were concerned about the dynamics with the main villain/anti-hero, Alice (Rachel Skarsten), Kate's step-sister Mary (Nicole Kang), and father Jacob (Dougray Scott). Not to mention Sophie, Luke, and Kate's place in the multi-verse.
Whatever happens, it's going to change the show in a massive way. What are your thoughts about this big Batwoman shakeup?
6/10/20 UPDATE: Showrunner Caroline Dries took to Twitter to clarify the recent news about Kate Kane. From Dries: As a lesbian who has been working as a writer for the past 15 years, I'm well aware of the "Bury Your Gays" trope and I have no interest in participating in it. That's why it's important to me as the showrunner to clarify any misinformation out there about Kate Kane and recasting Batwoman. Like You, I love Kate Kane...she's the reason I wanted to do the show. We'll never erase her. In fact, her disappearance will be one of the mysteries of season two. I don't want to give away any of our surprises, but to our devoted fans, please know that LGBTQ+ justice is at the very core of what Batwoman is and we have no intention of abandoning it."