Not all heroes wear capes, and after making history as the first LGBTQ woman in the DC Universe to debut on network television, Ruby Rose is living proof of this fact. But it didn't last long, unfortunately. In May 2020, Ruby announced that her time as Batwoman on the CW series was done. But why did Ruby Rose leave?
Why did Ruby Rose leave ‘Batwoman’? At first, she said she got hurt.
During an interview, the 34-year-old Orange Is the New Black actress revealed the real reason she decided to resign from her role as Batwoman was largely due to an injury she sustained on-set of the show in 2019. She told EW, "Being the lead of a superhero show is tough. Being the lead in anything is tough, but I think, in that particular instance, it was a lot more difficult because I was still recovering from my surgery."
Ruby added that along with wanting to focus on her ongoing recovery, quarantine gave her an opportunity to get clear on what she really wants out of life. She continued, "It wasn't so much [the injury], especially because after we wrapped up we didn't get to finish the real finale because of COVID. You know, you have time in quarantine and sort of isolation to just think about a lot of different things and what you want to achieve in life and what you want to do.”
Ruby Rose is now opening up about what she calls "toxic behavior" on the 'Batwoman' set.
In Oct. 2021, Ruby Rose revealed the real reason behind her decision to leave Batwoman. In a post to her Instagram story, she spoke about what actually happened on the show and tagged a number of people in the post, including its showrunner, Caroline Dries. In the post, Ruby said she was forced to return to work after having surgery 10 days before.
Ruby said that the former head of Warner Bros. TV, Peter Roth, made her return to work by threatening that she would be costing the company. She said she was told her absence would make the company lose "millions" and that the crew would have to be fired. She also asked her fans to stop asking when she would return to Batwoman.
"I wouldn't return for any amount of money nor if a gun were to my head," Ruby said on her Instagram story. "Nor did I quit. I do not quit. They ruined Kate Kane and they destroyed Batwoman, not me."
In the post, Ruby also shows footage and pictures of the surgery she had before working on Batwoman and how serious it was. She also talked about a crew member suffering from third-degree burns while on set.
In a statement (via Deadline), Warner Bros. Television called Ruby's Instagram story "revisionist history." The company said, "The truth is that Warner Bros. Television had decided not to exercise its option to engage Ruby for Season 2 of Batwoman based on multiple complaints about workplace behavior that were extensively reviewed and handled privately out of respect for all concerned."
What happened to Kate Kane?
Because of the pandemic, the cast and crew were unable to film the season finale of Batwoman, a conundrum that left many viewers' questions unanswered until recently. The Season 2 premiere of Batwoman revealed that the insidious plane crash involving Kate Kane was caused by the pirate queen Safiyah (Shivaani Ghai), a former lover. While Kate Kane’s body isn't recovered, her suit is left behind and found by a homeless woman named Ryan Wilder.
At first, audiences didn't know whether Kate Kane was really dead. But they needn't have worried — back in June of 2020, showrunner Caroline Dries said that they did not intend to kill off the character. "As a lesbian who's 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," she said.
"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," she continued. "I don't want to give away any of our surprises, but to all our devoted fans, please know that LGBTQ+ justice is at the very core of what Batwoman is and we have no intention of abandoning that."
Who replaced Ruby Rose in Season 2 of ‘Batwoman’?
Initially, instead of recasting Kate Kane, showrunners opted to introduce a successor — a decision that Ruby Rose supported with enthusiasm. The new Batwoman is Ryan Wilder, played by actress Javicia Leslie — who also happens to be the first Black woman to play Batwoman! Ruby has no doubt that she’s the best fit for the role.
Ruby told EW, “I think she definitely knows what she's doing and she seems fantastic. I think that honestly, I was so proud and so happy when I was told who would be replacing me. I'm just really stoked and I'm definitely going to watch the next season as well and see how it all comes together."
Javicia, a 33-year-old actress who previously appeared in the CBS series God Friended Me, said that because her character, Ryan, and Kate Kane come from completely different worlds, she is able to bring a unique energy to the character.
Javicia told The New York Times, “Ryan has a bit of comedic energy because she’s very flawed. She’s not as smooth as most superheroes are. It wasn’t a situation where I had to try to make her different from Kate — she just is.”
You can watch Batwoman on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on the CW.