Ruby Rose starred in the CW series Batwoman for one season before abruptly leaving the show before the start of season two. Last year, she told Entertainment Weekly her decision to leave the show was in part due to an injury sustained in 2019, and that ten days after surgery, she was back on set on the action-heavy series. She called her quick return to work “maybe [not] the best idea”, but she spoke well of the series producers and her overall experience on Batwoman (which cast Javicia Leslie as a new Batwoman). This week, though, Rose posted an Instagram story (since deleted), detailing her experiences on Batwoman which include allegations of unsafe and toxic working conditions—a sad theme today—and abusive behavior from the producers. 


Rose detailed injuries she sustained while making the show, including a broken rib that required surgery, and which she alleges showrunner Caroline Dries suggested she got while doing yoga, though Rose claims she doesn’t do yoga. But Rose saved most of her remarks for Peter Roth, the former chairman of Warner Brothers Television Group—he stepped down earlier this year—who apparently told her she cost the production millions because she was hurt. I mean…yeah, maybe, but also, it’s not like she broke her rib on purpose? What the hell? Rose called Roth “chapter one” and further alleged he made “young women steam your pants, around your crotch while you were still wearing said pants”. Rose’s allegations embrace the full range of sh-tty behavior, from pushing a production so hard dangerous set conditions are rife, to bullying, to the aforementioned sexual harassment.

Rose’s no-holds-barred account, which includes details of an alleged accident involving a stunt performer who suffered third-degree burns, isn’t entirely unfamiliar territory. For one thing, we know a crew member was paralyzed in a set accident in March 2020, after Rose left the show, but dovetailing with her depiction of the Batwoman set as dangerous. And we know from Ray Fisher that Warner Brothers has a culture problem that allows abusive behavior on sets to flourish. Is it hard to believe the producers of an expensive, stunt-heavy show pushed their star so hard she worked through significant injury? Is it hard to believe badly behaved producers and executives might not see consequences for their actions on set? Especially when we know other people have been seriously injured on that set, and other actors have made similar allegations of a toxic work environment on Warners’ productions? 


In a statement on par with “how dare you sue us for wages during THIS HERE PANDEMIC”, Warner Brothers responded to Rose’s call out with this:

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.

This reminds me a little bit of when the royal family “well actually’d” Meghan Markle by saying that actually, SHE was the one people complained about being a bully. As with that incident, I’m going to need to see some receipts. Even if there are NDAs in place, there will be some kind of paper trail of the investigation, who carried it out and when and how it was conducted, et cetera. But I don’t really buy that, because everything Ruby Rose is saying is in line with sh-t we’ve already heard about Warner Brothers from other people, or other documented set accidents from Batwoman itself. Rose also name-checked co-star Dougray Scott for toxic behavior, even saying she requested a “no yelling” policy—which was denied—after seeing him shout at workers on set, particularly women. Scott responded with: “I absolutely and completely refute the defamatory and damaging claims made against me by [Ruby Rose]; they are entirely made up and never happened.” 


Making movies and TV shows is expensive. Even when it’s cheap, it’s expensive. There is a lot of pressure to stay on schedule and on budget, but when that pressure is put ahead of the physical and mental safety of the people actually doing that work, these are the situations that arise. People suffer mental and emotional abuse, they get hurt, sometimes even killed. Especially in light of Halyna Hutchins’ death, Warner Brothers’ statement is completely tone deaf. We KNOW someone has been seriously injured on the Batwoman set, even if you want to deflect from Rose’s specific remarks, you still have to account for that injury. The people who work on that show and on every set deserve to have their safety and well being valued by those in charge. Studios need to stop covering their asses and start protecting their workers.