- Ruby Rose is leaving her lead role in The CW’s Batwoman after one season.
- Some reports suggest the departure was amicable after reflecting on challenges during filming, but others wonder if the 2018 backlash over her casting was also taken into account.
- At the time Rose was slammed for not being “gay enough” for the role and not being of Jewish descent like the comic book character, criticism that eventually caused her to delete her Twitter account.
- The role will be recast, with producers still looking for an openly LGBTQ performer to join the team.
Rose Announces Departure
Ruby Rose announced Tuesday that she will be leaving her role as the star of The CW’s Batwoman after just one season, news that came as a major shock to many.
“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, ” Rose said in a statement two days after the season one finale.
She also went on to express her appreciation and gratitude to specific team members who helped put the series together.
What Comes Next
Like several other film and TV projects, Batwoman was forced to end its season early due to the coronavirus pandemic, finishing 20 of its 22 planned episodes. But back in January, the show secured a second season and was even set to anchor the network’s Sunday night lineup starting in early 2021.
So this departure was pretty shocking since a lead actor rarely leaves a role after just one season, especially with another one on lock. Naturally, many were immediately curious if the network was planning to keep the show alive.
Then The CW, Warner Bros. TV, and Berlanti Productions issued a joint statement saying they “thank Ruby for her contributions to the success of our first season and wish her all the best.”
“The studio and network are firmly committed to Batwoman’s second season and long-term future, and we — along with the show’s talented creative team — look forward to sharing its new direction, including the casting of a new lead actress and member of the LGBTQ community, in the coming months,” the groups added.
As of now, there is no timeline for when a new actor could take on the lead role, and it’s unclear if Rose’s departure will be incorporated into the storyline. From all the DC TV shows that have come since Arrow’s start in 2012, none of the main leads have ever been recast.
A parody account fooled fans into thinking that Amber Heard was in talks for the role, but those claims have since been deemed false.
Reasons for Exit Unknown
It’s not immediately clear what prompted Rose’s decision to exit. She suffered a back injury during filming, which left her at risk of being paralyzed and required emergency surgery. However, reports have suggested that her decision was unrelated.
Other reports said the two sides mutually decided to part ways after reflecting on the season and its challenges. According to Deadline, Rose “was not happy, and the show’s team was not happy to a point where no one could see this going for another season. It was not a good fit.”
Whatever the case, Rose seems to have faced issues since joining the series in 2018.
Batwoman made TV history as the first scripted live-action TV series to feature a lesbian superhero at the top of the call sheet. Still, there was controversy around Rose’s casting.
Some launched criticism in regards to her sexuality as the show was looking for an openly LGBTQ actress for the part. Critics began to accuse Rose of not being a lesbian since she has referred to herself as gender-fluid, which drew in remarks about her not being “gay enough” to play the role.
Others were upset about Rose not being Jewish like the character is in the comics. Some questioned Rose’s acting skills, and some brought up one of her tweets from 2013 that seemed to out another entertainer. Eventually, #RecastBatwoman began circulating with people calling for the role to go to lesser-known LGBTQ performers.
All of the backlash prompted Rose to leave Twitter altogether and restrict comments on her Instagram page. In her final tweet, she called the remarks about her sexuality “ridiculous,” noting that she came out at the age of 12 and has faced the opposite criticism throughout her career.
Though none of this was addressed in her departure announcement, some say it wouldn’t be hard to imagine it playing some role in the decision to part ways. For now, it seems like there are plenty of fans who are sad to see her go.
See what others are saying: (The Hollywood Reporter) (Deadline) (Forbes)
Joe Rogan Fans Upset After Podcast Moves Exclusively To Spotify
- Some fans of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” said they would no longer be listening to the podcast after it officially became a Spotify exclusive this week.
- Rogan struck a $100 million deal to house his show exclusively on Spotify in May and has warned fans that this change was coming for months.
- Now that it has, many have said they dislike Spotify’s ad-supported free version or complained that it was not available in their country. Others were also frustrated that couldn’t use a VPN, among other concerns.
- Still, many believe Rogan’s podcast is unlikely to suffer as fans adjust.
Joe Rogan Moves To Spotify
Joe Rogan’s podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” officially became a Spotify exclusive on Tuesday.
Because of the change, Rogan’s December 1 episode featuring cryptographer Moxie Marlinspike was only uploaded only to Spotify, prompting a bit of frustration from fans.
Highlight clips of the episode were still uploaded to the PowerfulJRE YouTube channel. However, there is a message to listen to the full podcast on Spotify at the end of the clip and in the description.
It seems like some fans are not happy about the move because in the comment section of one highlight clip, many left their goodbye messages.
“It’s been a hell of a ride guys. See ya,” one user wrote.
“I’m not downloading Spotify so I guess no more Joe Rogan,” another said, while a different listener wrote, “RIP Joe Rogan Experience.”
Some also left comments about also not liking the free, ad-supported version of Spotify.
“Tried listening on Spotify. I can’t handle the 10 straight minutes of ads, and having Joe read them just makes me suddenly able to totally tune out everything he says without even trying to,” one person said.
“Sad times for me. Sad to say, I’m not switching to from YouTube premium to Spotify premium for one podcast.”
Others also noted that Spotify isn’t available in their country or that they can’t use a VPN.
Will This Hurt Rogan?
It will be interesting to see if this change actually costs Rogan listeners or if it will better for him in the long run.
It’s not like he’s been struggling since the slow transfer of his content started happening. Episodes of his podcast only began to appear on Spotify in September, and that was still enough to earn him the title of the platform’s top global podcast of the year.
Plus, this information about him moving exclusively to Spotify this month isn’t exactly new.
Fans have known this was going to happen for months now as part of that $100 million deal he struck with the company in May, so perhaps Rogan anticipated some of this backlash and an adjustment period. Either way, many feel like the outrage is unlikely to truly hurt the show’s success.
See what others are saying: (Dexerto) (Billboard) (The Hollywood Reporter)
U.K. Wants Netflix to Add ‘Fiction’ Label to “The Crown”
- The U.K. government is set to formally ask Netflix to attach a label to its series “The Crown” that clearly marks it as fiction.
- The government is concerned viewers may take the events as fact when the show is a historical drama.
- The request comes after Netflix released the fourth season of the show in mid-November, which covers Margaret Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister, the Falklands War, and the Royal family’s tumultuous relationship with Princess Diana.
- Netflix has attached other labels in the past when covering topics such as mental health, even when the depicted content is fictional.
- There are also concerns that show writer Peter Morgan has laid out events in a way that could push conspiracy theories, such as those around Princess Diana’s death.
The Crown Ruffles U.K. Feathers
The United Kingdom says it will formally ask Netflix to place a fiction label on its popular series “The Crown.”
The show’s fourth season released in mid-November and has already ruffled feathers in the U.K. In an interview with The Daily Mail on Sunday, U.K. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden confirmed rumors that the government was seeking such a label.
“It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction, so as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that,” he said.
“Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.”
Many are concerned that scenes depicted by show writer Peter Morgan feed into conspiracy theories about the royal family. Those conspiracy theories largely circulate around Princess Diana, who was introduced in the show this season.
Princess Diana was a polarizing figure in the royal family. She married Prince Charles in 1981 and was seen as a “modernizing” figure for the royal family. She infamously died in a car crash that has spawned many conspiracy theories about who was responsible.
Even without the theories tying her death to the Royal family, her struggle with her royal in-laws never helped the family’s image.
Fact or Fiction?
A warning label on the show, even on season 4, isn’t completely unheard of. A few episodes delve into Diana’s struggle with bulimia and have health warnings clearly shown before those episodes.
“Those were difficult scenes to film and I also feel like taking her to that place was a good thing,” Emma Corrin, who portrays Princess Diana, told Variety over the weekend.
“It gave me somewhere to go with her, but I was exhausted a lot those days coming off set because at the same time as you’re playing someone who’s fictionalized and obviously you’re not feeling or thinking those things, it’s your job to make yourself feel that way,” she added.
There are also pushes to affix a fictional label to the show by members of Diana’s family. Her brother, the Earl Spencer, told ITV, “It would help The Crown [the show] an enormous amount if at the beginning of each episode it stated that, ‘This isn’t true but is based around some real events’. Because then everyone would understand it’s drama for drama’s sake.”
Regarding the show’s fictionality, Corrin told talk show host Tamron Hall,“I think for everyone in “The Crown,” we always try and remind everyone that… the series we are in is fictionalized to a great extent.”
“Obviously it has its roots in reality and in some fact but Peter Morgan’s scripts are works of fiction.”
However, Morgan’s stance on fiction blurs the line a little. In the past, Morgan has defended his approach to the show, commenting, “You sometimes have to forsake accuracy, but you must never forsake truth.”
For critics, that thought process can lead to misrepresentations of what happened for the sake of a spun narrative. For example, in season 4 there’s a scene where Princess Diana is distressed and alone in her bedroom when Prince Philip, her father-in-law, approaches and asks what’s wrong.
She tells him she just wants to get away and he makes it clear that it won’t end well if she does. Diana replies, “I hope that isn’t a threat, Sir.”
Critics of the show claim this line is a way to foreshadow Diana’s death and a subtle nod to the theory that the Royals orchestrated her death.
In 1999, French police debunked that claim and put sole responsibility for the crash on her driver, who they claim was intoxicated at the time of the accident. Otherwise, the media and paparazzi are criticized for following her life so closely, particularly on the night of her death, prompting her driver to speed away dangerously.
Netflix has yet to make any comments about the U.K.’s looming request.
See What Others Are Saying: (Variety) (Radio Times) (Vulture)
South Korea Postpones BTS’ Mandatory Military Service for Two Years
- On Tuesday, South Korea’s Parliament approved a revision to the country’s Military Service Act, granting a two-year military conscription deferral for BTS’ oldest member, Jin.
- Jin turns 28 on Friday. Under normal requirements, all able-bodied South Korean men must join the country’s military by then, meaning Jin only had several days left to sign up.
- In fact, all seven BTS members will now be able to defer their military service period until the time they turn 30.
- The revision comes after a year-long debate over whether internationally successful male K-pop groups are influential enough to be granted tightly-regulated exemptions they normally would not be able to receive.
- BTS alone is estimated to account for $4.65 billion of South Korea’s Gross Domestic Product.
BTS Is Granted a Military Service Deferral
Kim Seok-jin, also known as Jin, is the oldest member of the global K-pop phenomenon BTS. On Friday, he’ll turn 28. While that news might not normally capture headlines, it coincided with his deadline to conscript in South Korea’s military — a prospect that held the potential to upheave the group’s ever-growing success.
On Tuesday, South Korea’s Parliament changed that deadline when it passed a revision to the country’s Military Service Act in a 270-2 vote. Now, top K-pop performers can postpone their conscription until they turn 30, meaning BTS will be able to remain fully intact for the next two years.
K-pop stars will only be eligible for the deferral if they have received government medals for helping to spread South Korea’s cultural influence internationally. Notably, all seven members of BTS have met that requirement because they all received such medals in 2018.
The legislation was introduced in South Korea’s parliament in September, shortly after BTS became the first K-pop group to reach No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for “Dynamite.”
At the time, Representative Jeon Yong-gi argued that top pop stars — including BTS — should receive the deferral if they have raised the country’s national prestige.
Another lawmaker argued that BTS should be able to receive a full exemption. Currently, such exemptions are extremely rare, and only a few hundred have been handed out since 2008. Even then, they usually only go to classical musicians or athletes who’ve won medals in the Olympic or Asian Games. They’ve never been granted to any pop stars.
“There was a football player who was offered an exemption by playing for just four minutes at the 2014 London Olympics,” that lawmaker, Rep. Yoon Sang-hyun, wrote on social media, arguing that BTS’ success and economic effect outweighed that event.
BTS and the Debate Over Military Exemptions
The debate over a possible military exemption for BTS has been raging for more than a year now.
In September 2019, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense said such an exemption was not possible.
In October of that same year, Noh Hyeong-ouk, the country’s Minister of Government Policy Coordination, said South Korea’s mandatory conscription system should reflect the current times.
“We need to review the need for an open-door policy regarding special exceptions from military service in the K-pop industry, in order to provide motives for Korea’s expansion as a cultural content powerhouse,” he argued.
That back and forth continued until November 2019 when the Ministry of National Defense seemed to put the speculation to rest by saying that BTS will still be required to conscript. Alongside that, it also imposed stricter rules on granting exemptions at all.
That decision was made, in part, because of a declining birthrate in South Korea. Currently, South Korea has about 600,000 active soldiers but by 2022, it projects that number will fall to 500,000. Over the next two decades, the ministry expects that number to shrink again by half. Low numbers like that could impede the country’s ability to continue imposing pressure on North Korea.
According to South Korean law, all able-bodied men must conscript in the country’s military by the time they turn 28. They must then serve at least 18 months or risk a number of repercussions, including being barred from international travel — a not so good prospect for a world-famous pop group.
On Monday, BTS made further history as their new single, “Life Goes On,” became the first Korean-language song to top the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. In 2019, The Hollywood Reporter estimated that BTS accounted for a jawdropping $4.65 billion of South Korea’s GDP.