Film Forward

How The CW's ‘Batwoman’ Series Could Be A Game-Changer For LGBTQ Representation On TV

One ticket to Gotham City, please!

There's another superhero headed to The CW and their arrival will make major waves for LGBTQ representation on television. Batwoman will debut this fall on the network during the yearly Arrowverse crossover among shows Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow. And, should her solo show get officially picked up for 2019, she will stick around for good.

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What makes this such an important move is that Batwoman — whose real name is Katherine Kane — is the first-ever lesbian lead character in the DC Comics Universe. The Batwoman character originated in Detective Comics No. 233 in July 1956 when she was introduced primarily as Batman's love interest and mirrored the iconic hero's backstory as a wealthy Gotham City resident who takes up fighting crime as a vigilante. But this version of Batwoman made a splash in August 2006 when she was reintroduced in as a lesbian of Jewish descent. Though her name is Katherine, Batwoman's alter ego has gone by Kathy (the former iteration) and Kate (the current iteration).

Deadline and Variety report that Caroline Dries — an out lesbian who has a history with The CW having worked on Smallville, Melrose Place, and The Vampire Diaries — will serve as executive producer and writer for the series. Greg Berlanti, the mind behind the Arrowverse and the 2018 gay teen rom-com hit Love, Simon, is also attached to executive produce alongside Sarah Schechter and Geoff Johns. 

Beyond the fact that it will be the first titular LGBTQ character, male or female, of any primetime live-action superhero series, the best part about this whole thing is the effort going into casting the lead. According to TVLine, casting is looking for an out lesbian actress — of any ethnicity — to play between the ages of 25 and 29. This new addition would join the ranks of the Arrowverse's solid stable of LGBTQ characters (with a shout-out to non-Arrowverse series Black Lightning). 

A logline for the series describes Batwoman as a woman "armed with a passion for social justice" with "a flair for speaking her mind." She is a "highly trained street fighter primed to snuff out the failing city's criminal resurgence." While Batwoman might sound totally badass, "don't call her a hero yet" because she "must overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be Gotham's symbol of hope."

In a time when true LGBTQ representation is of the utmost importance, it's nice to see that a show is looking for an actual lesbian actress to play a lesbian character.

Cover image: DC Comics

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