After a moderately successful first season on The CW, Kate Kane actress Ruby Rose announced in May 2019 she would not be returning as the titular star of Batwoman for the second season. Following this, Javicia Leslie was cast as Ryan Wilder to take over the mantle while Wallis Day briefly took on the role of Kane to conclude her storyline.
While Batwoman has certainly moved on from Rose's sudden exit, no explanation was ever offered for her departure. The actress did reveal she suffered from an allergy to the latex in her costume, but largely chose to remain silent on the full story, simply saying that “those who know, know.”
With over a year now passed since Ruby Rose's departure, the Orange Is the New Black actress has taken to Instagram to explain the shocking truth behind her exit.
Ruby Rose Explains Batwoman Exit
UPDATE: Warner Bros. Television Group has released a statement in response to Ruby Rose's claims of an abusive workplace on Batwoman production:
"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."
INITIAL COVERAGE: Former Batwoman star Ruby Rose took to Instagram to reveal the truth behind her exit from the series and her horrific experiences on the set.
Rose revealed the details through a series of Instagram Stories — shared on Twitter by @TheDCTVShow — which serve as an open letter to The CW, showrunner Caroline Dries, and executive producers Sarah Schechter and Greg Berlanti.
The actress described her decision to “tell the whole world what really happened on set” is to ensure “what happened to [her] never happens to another person again:”
“Dear CW, [Caroline Dries, Sarah Schechter, and Greg Berlanti] et al. Enough is enough. I'm going to tell the whole world what really happened on 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.”
The actress first discussed former Warner Bros. Television President Peter Roth, who announced his exit from the position in October 2020. Rose accused Roth of sexually harassing young women and hiring a private investigator against her, claiming that he fired said investigator when “the report didn’t fit [his] narrative:”
“Peter Roth, you are first up. You are chapter one, 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 soon as the report didn’t fit your narrative. Either way, when it comes to you, there’s already an army waiting for you.”
The former CW star followed with a recording of a consultation regarding a serious neck injury sustained during a stunt on the set which left her at risk of paralysis. Rose explained that she suffered from a broken neck, rib, and a tumor but was told they “wouldn't make [their] day” if she got an x-ray:
“Cut to 3 weeks later after this video. It’s worse than abnormal, this was diagnosed years ago on set but if I got an X-Ray “we wouldn’t make our day”. I have documented this for years. On top of that, I have enough documentation to make a 1-hour documentary. Pray tell what else would you like me to share, the broken neck or the broken rib split in two and the tumor?”
Rose then posted a sensitive video of her surgery itself and revealed she had to go back only ten days later “or the whole crew and cast would be fired.” Meanwhile, the actress claimed Roth told her “he wouldn't recast and [she had] just lost the studio millions” by getting injured, so it would be her who “cost so many people their jobs.”
Rose went on to propose the studio could've simply instead taken “half a day to rewrite [her] out for a few weeks to heal:”
“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 down because Peter Roth said he wouldn’t 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).”
The actress revealed she took a “huge pay cut” to play Batwoman as it was a “passion project,” sharing her excitement about participating in Comic-Con. However, the studio was unwilling to adjust the schedule for her attendance and told her she had to announce her absence herself.
Rose went on to reveal she had to film a video explaining her absence, or they would “be silent and people would turn up to find out on the day I wasn’t there.” But even after agreeing to participate, the actress was asked to “cover [her] scar” because they “don't want to see that scar on the video:”
“Imagine taking a huge pay cut to play a passion project and being so excited about Comic-Con and then being told they would not adjust the schedule, so I could attend… But then saying “We won’t announce it, you have to.” and me putting my foot down and saying why must I be the face of this??? Only to be told if I didn’t do this video they would be silent and people would turn up to find out on the day I wasn’t there… I folded, I wanted to do what it took… but then being told “Cover your scar, we don’t want to see that scar on the video” and you wonder why I posted my surgery video.”
In a message to her “dear, dear fans,” the actress asked to “stop asking if she will return to that awful show” because she wouldn't for any reason. Rose stated that the studio “ruined Kate Kane, and they destroyed Batwoman,” and she would have had to “sign [her] rights away” if she wanted to return:
“Please to my dear, dear fans, stop asking if I will return to that awful show, I wouldn’t return for any amount of money nor if a gun were to my head. NOR DID I QUIT. I DO NOT QUIT, They ruined Kate Kane, and they destroyed Batwoman, not me. I followed orders, and if I wanted to stay I was going to have to sign my rights away. Any threats, any bullying tactics, or blackmail will not make me stand down.”
The former star went on to tell a story of a crew member who suffered third-degree burns over his whole body and yet the rest of the team was “given no therapy after witnessing his skin fall off his face.” Rose revealed they were then told they had to do a sex scene “without a minute to process,” having lost two stunt doubles and herself suffered a “cut in the face so close to [her] eye in a stunt [she] could have been blind:”
“A crew member got 3rd degree burns over his whole body, and we were given no therapy after witnessing his skin fall off his face, but I was the only one who sent him flowers and cards and then was told we had to do a sex scene without a minute to process, we lost 2 stunt doubles, I got cut in the face so close to my eye in a stunt I could have been blind.”
The actress shared details of a further crew injury in which an assistant was "left quadriplegic," paralyzed in all four limbs, which the studio blamed on her being on her phone, despite that being the focus of her job. The crew member in question received no help at first from The CW as they had to “investigate,” leaving her forced to raise the money herself:
“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 Go Fund Me... 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-19.”
Rose turned her attention to the beginning of the pandemic in which showrunner Caroline Dries wanted to “finish the season throughout" it, which the actress told her “was a bad idea.” This followed the production shut down of “Riverdale, The Flash, and Supergirl” on the same network:
“[Caroline Dries] has no heart and wanted us to finish the season throughout the pandemic and I told her it was a bad idea... I told her everyone was too distracted, constantly checking Covid updates checking on friends, and seeing Riverdale, The Flash, and Supergirl shut down already, I felt something bad would happen and [Caroline Dries] maybe visited the set 4 times in a year... UNHEARD OF. But in those 4-5 visits she decided she could tell me she knew my injury happened on set, so I should comply with the PI, yet later denied it entirely and said it happened during yoga lol I don’t do yoga. And now someone will never walk again.”
Production was forced to shut down the next day “not because she almost killed someone, but the government pulled it.” Rose continued to describe her “fighting people on set” because she “wanted safety” for the crew after “two were hospitalized:”
“We shut down the next day. Not because she almost killed someone, but the government pulled it. Also, I fought people on set, yes, not because I wanted to but because I wanted safety. Ask anyone in hair and makeup what I did for them, after two were hospitalized, the only people who came out and spoke was [Dougray Scott] who, talk about unprofessional, called my agent after my exit to find a way to leave to which she replied “break your neck I guess” yet slammed me in the press.”
Turning her attention to her on-screen father actor Dougray Scott, Rose revealed he “hurt a female stunt double, he yelled like a little b**ch at women and was a nightmare” to work with. After that, the former star “sent an email out asking for a no yelling policy,” which was declined:
“I never raised my voice on a set, never have. Dougray hurt a female stunt double he yelled like a little b**ch at women and was a nightmare. He left when he wanted and arrived when he wanted he abused women and in turn as a lead of the show I sent an email out asking for a no yelling policy, they declined.”
Finally, the actress described the passive-aggressive reactions she received after being “late one time because [she] was in the hospital” and was told to “get a taxi” while being unable to drive due to her injury. She concluded by sharing that aside from those mentioned, “[she] was loved [on-set], and [she] loved [her] crew:”
“I was late one time because I was in the hospital. Whoever does these stupid leaks I’m finding out who, but it’s Camus, who after I left hospital said “yeah well maybe If people were not Late we would make our days.” A kid, an egomaniac kid who worked one day a week had the audacity.… or the stunt department who were furious, even though I never blamed them. But I went on Fallen and spoke of my injury, and didn’t play the game. Aside from them, I was loved, and I loved my crew. Oh, and they wouldn’t drive me to work and knew I couldn’t legally drive after surgery., so they said 'get a taxi'”
Batwoman's Production Secrets are Finally Out
When Rose first confirmed her Arrowverse departure, the actress remained silent on the exact reasons but made it clear there was a story to be told. It's unclear why the actress chose now to speak her truth, although the statement comes in the same week that last year saw Roth announce his exit from Warner Bros. Television.
By all accounts, it appears the high-ups in charge of Batwoman seem to care little for the wellbeing of their cast and crew, as the focus seemingly remains on maintaining profits and deadlines. With the truth now out there, it wouldn't be shocking to see several of those mentioned by Rose announce their own departures from the project in the near future or at least come out to tell their own sides of the story.
Following Rose's exit from the series, Javicia Leslie's Ryan Wilder has certainly made her own mark on the Arrowverse. The actress is currently starring in Batwoman Season 3 and is set to appear in next month's Armageddon crossover on The Flash.
Batwoman has proven to be one of the most divisive series to come out of the Arrowverse yet, but the show recently made waves online after Camrus Johnson's Luke Fox finally became Batwing, marking the character's live-action debut.
Batwoman currently airs Wednesday nights, only on The CW.