Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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Ruby Rose Alleges Abusive, Dangerous Conditions on Batwoman Set

Ruby Rose Batwoman

Fans of the Batwoman television series were shocked by out actor Ruby Rose’s sudden departure last year, after just one season of playing the lesbian superhero. This came despite the popularity of the show and how enthusiastic Rose had been about her role in it in the lead-up to its premiere. 

When Rose announced she was leaving the show, she didn’t offer a reason. At the time, multiple outlets, citing sources close to the production, reported that it was due to Rose being unhappy on set. “It wasn’t 100 percent her decision,” a source told TVLine. “It was a breakup. She wasn’t happy working on the show, and did that make her fun to work with? No. So everyone decided it would be in the best interests of the show and for all concerned if they parted ways. It just wasn’t a good fit.” The source also claimed Rose wasn’t able to acclimate to living in Vancouver, where the show was shot. The overall impression was that Rose was “difficult.” 

Rose first clarified that the reason for her exit was due to an injury she sustained on set, which required emergency back surgery. According to the actor, she developed two herniated discs from doing stunt work on the show that nearly severed her spinal cord. “Being the lead of a superhero show is tough,” Rose told Entertainment Weekly. “But I think, in that particular instance, it was a lot more difficult because I was still recovering from my surgery. I had my surgery and then 10 days later I went to work, which maybe wasn’t the best idea.”

Following her exit from Batwoman, the series’ showrunners created a new character, Ryan Wilder, played by out actor Javicia Leslie, to take up the superhero mantle, rather than recast Rose’s Kate Kane. That seemed to be the end of it. 

That all changed Tuesday. In a scathing Instagram story, Rose opened the floodgates and alleged that her injury was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to issues on the Batwoman production. She detailed various incidents of misconduct, bullying, abuse that allegedly took place on the set.

Rose began by accusing former Warner Bros. TV Group chairman Peter Roth of workplace sexual harassment, alleging that he coerced female colleagues into steaming the crotch of his pants and that he sent a private investigator after her. 

“Not sure if you left after getting promoted to the highest position because you just couldn’t stop making young women steam your pants, around your crotch while you were still wearing said pants or if you left after putting a private investigator on me who you fired as soon as the report didn’t fit your narrative, either way,” Rose wrote. “When it comes to you there’s already an army waiting for [you].” 

In a statement to Vulture, a representative for Warner Bros. TV Group denied Rose’s claims. “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,” it read.

Rose also alleged that her costar, Dougray Scott, “abused women” by yelling at them.” She also claimed that “he hurt a female stunt double.” Scott responded to the claim, telling Vulture, “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 also made claims about an unsafe work environment that led to multiple injuries, only to have producers treat the crew callously after the fact. In addition, she claimed she was guilted and coerced into returning to set just 10 days after her emergency surgery. “To everyone who said I was too stiff on Batwoman. imagine going back to work 10 days after this ... 10 DAYS!!!!!! (or the whole crew and cast would be fired and I’d let everyone because Peter Roth said he would recast and I just lost the studio millions (by getting injured on his set) [that I’d] be the one who cost so many people their jobs. Instead of spending half a day to rewrite me out for a few weeks to heal),” she wrote.

The actor went on to describe other incidents involving crew injuries, one of which was a production assistant who was paralyzed due to an accident on set. “A woman was left quadriplegic and they tried to blame it on her being on her phone, so much so CW didn’t [even] help her to start with because they needed to ‘investigate’ so she had to do a GoFundMe,” Rose alleged. “She’s a PA, they work via phones. Her accident occurred because our show refused to shut down when everyone else did because of covid.” Rose said she also witnessed another crew member sustain third-degree burns. “And then we were told we had to do a sex scene without a minute to process,” she wrote. 

Regarding pandemic-related issues, Rose also claimed that Batwoman’s production was only shut down during the pandemic due to government closures, despite fellow CW shows like The Flash and Supergirl doing so as a precaution. Rose blamed showrunner Caroline Dries for this decision, tagging her in the post.

As of this writing, Dries has yet to respond to Rose’s accusation.

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