She's been forced to quit Twitter over 'Jewish lesbian' backlash.
Ruby Rose has deactivated her social media accounts after receiving backlash over being appointed to play Batwoman in a forthcoming new series. Apparently, she's neither gay enough nor Jewish enough to play the role - but why is there so much vitriol regarding her new role?
Ruby Rose at 'The Meg' premiere
People are trying to cite the news as an example of white-washing and misrepresentation of the LGBT community. But it's actually the complete opposite, and Ruby Rose certainly doesn't deserve the hate for it.
Batwoman has not always been a Jewish lesbian - only in recent stories has she been depicted as thus as an attempt to better represent diversity and connect with their modern readers. In a climate where LGBT citizens have only just scraped the right to marry their same-sex partners, this facet of the character had the most relevence for American readers.
Still, though, Ruby is being accused of not being queer enough to play a gay character despite the fact that it was her appearance in 'Orange is the New Black' that opened up a whole new conversation about gender non-conformity in the LGBT community. So is it any wonder she's come off Twitter when people are telling her that she isn't representative enough of her lesbian peers?
'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', she wrote before deactivating her account. '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. I wish we would all support each other and our journeys.'
'When women and when minorities join forces we are unstoppable. When we tear each other down it's much more hurtful than from any group', she continued. 'I am looking forward to getting more than 4 hours of sleep and to break from Twitter to focus all my energy on my next 2 projects. If you need me, I'll be on my Bat Phone.'
Of course, the other reason for the online fury was that she's not Jewish. Where you have a character who fits into two minorities, it's always going to be extremely difficult to find an actor who fits that mould perfectly. The fact that producers of the series have considered exploring even one of those minorities when searching for their leading lady is still progress that ought to be celebrated.
After all, there are more Jewish television and film characters that have been represented by actual Jews in history than LGBT characters have been represented by actual LGBT people. It does throw up the question of, if producers chose to overlook LGBT actresses in favour of Jewish ones, would there have been any backlash?
In the comics, Batwoman celebrates Hanukkah, but there are few other obvious references to her religion elsewhere. It has felt incidental in many of the stories, so there's every chance that creators of 'Batwoman' want to avoid that 'tokenism' label. If you're going to create a gay Jewish character - make her way more Jewish than that!
Moreover, the Evening Standard cited an interesting comment on the situation from Twitter. 'It's disrespectful to cast a white woman in a minority role', someone wrote.
Separating white people and Jewish people doesn't make a lot of sense when most American Jews are white - Batwoman herself is portrayed in the comics as having 'porcelain white skin'.
So Ruby Rose is not American or Jewish; there are still so many other reasons why she can do Batwoman justice better than anyone else and not just because she's a lesbian.
Batwoman is also supposed to have 'several tattoos' and an alternative style, which screams Ruby Rose all over. She's also more than once proved her worth as an action hero, having starred in the likes of 'Resident Evil: The Final Chapter', 'xXx: Return of Xander Cage' and 'John Wick: Chapter 2'. Furthermore, she's about to put her all into this because she's living a 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', she told her Instagram followers following the announcement.
In an ideal world, all minorities would be represented fairly all of the time. But when there is still prejudice in every corner of the globe, that's an unrealistic expectation. Instead, let's rejoice in the progress that is being made.
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