We reported last year that the CW is developing a show about Batwoman. Canonically, Batwoman, real name Katherine “Kate” Kane, is a Jewish lesbian. We knew the CW was looking to cast a lesbian actress in the role — eventually landing on Ruby Rose — but mentioned nothing about her Jewishness. This led many fans to be concerned; Kane’s Jewishness is important to her character! (It’s been part of the many debates over whether Jewish roles should be played by Jewish actors.)
This weekend, however, the CW confirmed that Kane will be an explicitly Jewish woman in the show. “Kate Kane is a Jewish woman,” Batwoman showrunner Caroline Dries said at a Television Critics Association panel. Dries went on to add that while her religion won’t be a huge part of the story, Ruby Rose, who’s Christian, did have to cover up her cross tattoos during filming.
I asked a #TCA19 question just for my parents and got an answer to make them happy: Yes, Kate Kane is Jewish in #Batwoman.
— Whitney Friedlander (@loislane79) August 4, 2019
Ruby Rose had to cover/alter some of her tattoos, like the crosses. And yes, Kate Kane is Jewish. #TCA19 #Batwoman
— Emily Longeretta (@emilylongeretta) August 4, 2019
People have very strong feelings on the fact that Ruby Rose isn’t Jewish, arguing that the CW went out of their way to cast a lesbian actress, but did not make the same effort to cast a Jewish one.
kate kane / batwoman is literally a jewish lesbian, her jewish heritage is shown even in the comics and how important it is to her, and casting a christian actress as her is automatically antisemitic. but girl power i guess!!
— Let's talk Apollo. (@talkapollo) May 21, 2019
also the fact that peter is jewish, the maximoffs are jewish, and kate kane is jewish and none of the people who portray them are jewish…..like wow that’s fucking embarrassing
— So We (@BacklnTheMine) June 26, 2019
(Kane is part of a long line of Jewish superheroes, including Magneto, Peter Parker in one of the Into the Spiderverse universes, and the Maximoff twins in the Marvel universe.)
kate's religion is a big part of her life and you don't get to pick and choose whichever parts of it you want to change just because you couldn't cast a jewish actress to play her. i don't want mentions of her jewishness, i want to fucking see it on screen because she is;
— Let's talk Apollo. (@talkapollo) August 5, 2019
Can’t wait to see how it all goes down? Here’s the first trailer: