On August 7th, Ruby Rose announced via social media that she would be portraying Batwoman (in the Arrowverse on the CW), a character that is known for being:
1) A lesbian
2) Jewish, and
3) Not just being a female version of Batman.
These three defining aspects should not be ignored in a live-action adaption of the character because these three things were what made Batwoman such an iconic superhero.
The CW has cast Ruby Rose as this social justice warrior and the internet reared its ugly head at the announcement. The backlash from the announcement was so brutal that Rose quit Twitter on August 13th. Many fans had been quite happy and supportive over the casting but others trolled the actress for a variety of reasons, including the casting of an already-popular actress, the casting of a non-Jewish actress, the insinuation that Rose was "not gay enough" to portray the superhero, and the critique that Rose was not a good enough actress for the role.
Let me break these down for you:
The CW seems to have made it a point to cast largely-unknown actors to take up the superhero mantles. Stephen Amell, the Green Arrow on "Arrow," had short stints on a variety of shows, with nothing really landing, although his two-episode stint on "New Girl" as Kyle, Cece's model boyfriend, leaving a lasting impression on my mind. Grant Gustin, the title character on "The Flash," had few credits to his name before the show, including a recurring role on "Glee" as the villainous Warbler, Sebastian Smythe. If The CW is going to make big names out of the actors, they should make it a point to do that with every role, including Batwoman's. Rose is already known for starring not only in seasons three and four of "Orange Is The New Black," but for her roles in major blockbuster films like "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" and "Pitch Perfect 3."
Ruby Rose is not Jewish, one of the defining traits of Batwoman's alter ego, Kate Kane. If the network is trying to be as representative as possible, Rose's non-Jewish status should have removed her from the running. Dismissing all other facets of both Rose's and Kane's characterizations, this point should have been non-debatable.
For people to criticize that Rose is "not gay enough" to be the superhero is ridiculous. Rose is quite outspoken about her sexuality and gender, coming out as a lesbian when she was 12, and coming out as genderfluid, preferring female pronouns. Some may argue that her being genderfluid means that she is not truly a lesbian but she endured years of torment because of her attraction to women. Queerness is a spectrum, and hers has seemed to land her as a lesbian for a good portion of her life.
Rose not being a good enough actress for the role is an opinion that will probably fluctuate between watchers. Her performance on "Orange Is The New Black" was one that most critics seemed to respond to positively. Her other roles have been ones that haven't received praise nor backlash. Even though she somewhat of a household name, she's had roles that haven't put her directly in the limelight, just like Amell and Gustin. She deserves a chance to prove her worth, and a role where she can bring her own experiences into could be that chance.
I don't think Rose is perfect for the role of Batwoman. I also don't think trolls needed to be so cruel on Twitter that Rose felt she had to leave. The casting seems to be set and I think Rose should be watched with unbiased eyes because she is representing an LGBTQ+ character that is finally making its live-action debut. If she is terrible in the role, that's another story, but for now, I'm hoping for the best and that all the defining aspects of the character are still represented well, with respect from both Rose and The CW.