In the wake of all the Bat-news coming out of the Fandome event, it’s also been a strange week in the television corner of the Batverse, but not in a good way.
Just over two years ago, The CW launched Batwoman, the first primetime superhero show with a LGBTQ lead, Ruby Rose as Kate Kane. A year later Ruby Rose left the title role under rather sudden circumstances – the version of the flame-haired Gotham vigilante apparently going missing, presumed dead in a plane crash… and the decision for Rose not to return coming within days of the show’s season finale.
There were conflicting rumours as to why? Did Rose leave or was she fired? Some sources said Rose’s attitude on set was not good and that she was not on good terms with some of the cast and crew. On the flipside there were also stories how the punishing schedule was inflaming a back injury she had received during a stunt earlier in the season which had made Rose anxious about the grueling schedule. It seemed one of those situations that wherever the specifics of the truth might be, everyone was backing away as gracefully as possible, happy to part ways and minimise the immediate damage. Rose’s subsequent tweets were short-and-sweet but largely complimentary to the crew (“this was not a decision I made lightly as I have the utmost respect for the cast, crew and everyone involved with the show in both Vancouver and in Los Angeles.“) and, in return, The CW diplomatically wished her all the best. The title role in the series would go a totally new alter-ego/character and actor – Javicia Leslie as Ryan Wilder – and when Kate Kane did ‘return from the dead’ she was played by Wallis Day.
A year on… there’s not so much caped crusading entente cordial.
Last week, Rose posted a string of accusations and comments on Instagram that lambasted The CW, Warner Bros. Television and Berlanti Productions, singling out Batwoman showrunner Caroline Dries and Greg Berlanti and saying that Warner Bros. TV boss Peter Roth threatened Rose into returning to work and a hard schedule despite the extent of workplace injuries. Rose also claimed that co-star Dougray Scott (who played Kane’s father) was guilty of serious misconduct on set, including allegedly being abusive to women and hurting a female stunt double.
“Enough is enough,” Rose wrote, addressing accusations at the show’s key personnel. “I’m going to tell the whole world what really happened on that set. I will come for you so what happened to me never happens to another person again. And so I can finally take back my life and the truth. Shame on you.”
Rose’s allegations were quickly refuted by Warners who, in a blunt statement, said that the situation was quite the opposite of Rose’s allegations and that it was Rose herself who was the subject of disciplinary problems.
“Despite the revisionist history that Ruby Rose is now sharing online aimed at the producers, the cast and crew, the network, and the Studio, the truth is that Warner Bros. Television had decided not to exercise its option to engage Ruby for season two of Batwoman based on multiple complaints about workplace behavior that were extensively reviewed and handled privately out of respect for all concerned,” the statement read, seeming to confirm those early departure rumours.
Dougray Scott swiftly gave an official comment on the allegations made by Rose, saying: “As Warner Bros. Television has stated, they decided not to exercise the option to engage Ruby for season two of Batwoman based on multiple complaints about her workplace behaviour. I absolutely and completely refute the defamatory and damaging claims made against me by her; they are entirely made up and never happened.”
Rose reiterated her accusations and inferred (apparently incorrectly) that Scott was suing her. “Dougray. I have too many witnesses coming forward with worse than just your anger Issues [stet].. but ur sueing me for 10 million cos @gberlanti shared his lawyer with you.. please.. come first so I can use the money from that case to take on g berlanti,” she wrote on her Instagram stories.
On Monday, Warner Bros. reiterated their position and doubled down on their support for Scott.
“We condemn the comments made by Ruby Rose about Dougray Scott. Warner Bros. has found Mr. Scott to be a consummate professional, and never received any allegation against him of bullying, or of abusive behavior on his part. Mr. Scott was greatly respected and admired by his colleagues, and was a leader on the set. Warner Bros. Television did not pick up Ruby Rose’s option for an additional season because of multiple complaints about workplace behavior that were extensively reviewed by the Studio.”
As things stand, neither side appears to be backing down, but the accusations leveled are likely serious enough to invite equally serious legal action if they continue.