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Ruby Rose details Batwoman set’s abusive conditions, severe injuries

‘I’m going to tell the whole world what really happened on that set’

Ruby Rose as Batwoman Photo: The CW
Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

Ruby Rose, who starred as Kate Kane on Batwoman for a single season in 2019 before exiting the series, published an Instagram story on Wednesday accusing the series’ producers and showrunner of abusive behavior and dangerous onset practices that resulted in crew injuries. Along with detailing the extent of a rib injury she sustained during the shooting of season 1, Rose also calls out a number of other incidents, some reported — like a spinal injury sustained by a production assistant — and others surfacing for the first time, including a story about a stunt person who Rose says got sent home with third-degree burns.

In the series of posts, Rose adds annotations to personal videos in which doctors survey her rib injury. She claims that, shortly after undergoing surgery for the issue, producers told her that if she got a proper X-ray, “we wouldn’t make our day,” the phrasing used for completing a day’s production on time and on budget. Later in the Instagram story, Rose says producer Peter Roth told her he would not recast the role and she had lost the production millions by sustaining the injury. According to Rose, showrunner Caroline Dries, who had only visited the set four or five times over the course of the season 1 shoot, would later suggest Rose obtained the injury during yoga. “lol I don’t do yoga,” Rose added.

Rose’s accusations specifically call out Roth several times. “You are chapter one,” she writes, “not sure if you left after getting promoted to the highest position because you 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, when it comes to you, there’s already an army waiting for u.”

According to Rose, the behavioral issues on the set of Batwoman extend from managerial malpractice to cut corners that led to physical issues for crew members. Besides her own injuries — “the broken neck, “the broken rib split in two,” “the tumor,” and a “cut in the face so close to my eye in a stunt I could have been blind,” as she details in the story — Rose describes a situation in which a crew member’s “whole body” was burned. “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,” she writes, “and then were told we had to do a sex scene without a minute to process.”

In the posts, Rose also flags an incident from March 2020 of a Batwoman production assistant who, based on previous reports, was struck in the head by the bucket of a lowering boom lift and left paralyzed. “A woman was left quadriplegic,” Rose writes, “and they tried to blame it on her being on her phone.” She claims the accident occurred because the producers of Batwoman refused to shut down during COVID into order to get the entire season in the can before mandatory shutdowns.

In the post, Rose also describes the personal frustrations that eventually pushed her away from returning to the show, including an insistence by producers to personally explain to fans why she wouldn’t be at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con (due to what she claims was simply an over-demanding work schedule). There were also frustrations with onset behavior by costar Dougray Scott, who eventually left the series after season 2.

“I never raised my voice on set, never have,” writes Rose. “Dougray hurt a female stunt double he yelled like a little bitch 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 a show i sent an email out asking for a no yelling policy, they declined.”

When asked for comment on Rose’s story, a representative for Warner Bros. Television Group provided the following statement: “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.”

On Instagram, Rose describes the Batwoman gig as being a “passion project,” and one that she took a pay cut to live out. Today, she says she could never imagine returning to the series.

“I wouldn’t 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.”

Batwoman season 3, which now stars Javicia Leslie as Ryan Wilder, premiered on Oct. 13.

Update: This story as been amended with a statement from The CW.