What’s Behind the Batwoman Trailer Backlash?

author img
BY October 4, 2019

The trailer for The CW’s upcoming Batwoman series premiered in May to whatever is the opposite of fanfare. While the teaser trailer did fairly well, the full-length trailer has five times the number of dislikes as likes. On its face, the show looks no different from the rest of The CW’s block of superhero shows. Why then is there a backlash? To find that out, I had to go against all internet advice and read the comments. This is what I found.

All-Purpose Batwoman Trailer Backlash

The first category of objections is the most general. There is no real consensus here–rather, a collection of varied griefs. First, there are the folks who simply hate change. They are like (and maybe actually were) the people who decried casting Heath Ledger as the Joker. Five minutes ago, they were up in arms about Robert Pattinson being the new Batman. Likewise, they weren’t sure about Supergirl and they were aggro about Arrow. This is just another shock to their systems, but they’ll probably adjust in time.

Similarly, there are the people who don’t really care either way about Batwoman, but are using the show as a target for their real objection. For example, some of these people are fans of other properties. They wish their favorite characters were getting shows, instead. Or they’re miffed, for instance, that Swamp Thing’s grand opening became a grand closing so quickly. In any case, like the change-adverse, they’ll probably get over it.

Nothing But Respect for MY Batman

As we dig deeper into the comments, though, feelings start to become a little more heated. This is where we find the next category of anti-fans, the Batman devotees. These are people who claim that they were primed to be Batwoman fans, until the trailer besmirched the good name of the Dark Knight. There are a couple of key moments in the trailer that turned the tide for them.

First (and most glaringly), is Batman’s absence. Presumably, this is for practical reasons, as DC and Warner Bros have not yet granted The CW properties full access to Batman. So when the show begins, Gotham hasn’t seen him for 3 years. Some viewers don’t like this, particularly the implication that Batman would just abandon the city. The reasonable assumption, according to them, is that if Batman has gone, he has a good reason. The insinuation that he’s akin to a deadbeat dad leaves a bad taste in their mouths.

That bad feeling is compounded by the way Kate Kane seems eager to overshadow her cousin. Witness how she dismisses the Batsuit, for example. Camrus Johnson’s Luke Fox describes it as “perfection,” but for Kate, it won’t approach that until it fits her. In other words, when it no longer fits Batman. The fans in this category could go on to love the show, but they may never give it a chance.

The Political Taken Personally

That’s almost a certainty for the final and most vocal category. These are the people who object to the trailer and thus, the show on a deeper level. They are offended and they want everyone to know it.

In retrospect, it was easy to see this coming. From the moment The CW announced they had cast Ruby Rose, there was protest. A “RECAST BATWOMAN” hashtag was even created. According to the members of this mini-movement, Rose doesn’t fit. As Batwoman is canonically a Jewish lesbian, only a Jewish lesbian would do. The resulting furor drove Rose off Twitter and irritated the segment of the internet that sees a creeping “wokeness” infecting everything they love.

That’s why it’s almost hilarious that the latter is now the loudest opposition. Once they saw the full-length version, they took to the comment section in droves and that’s when the Batwoman trailer backlash began. In their view, fighting for justice is fine, but social justice is a bridge too far. And to them, the trailer is little more than SJW-posturing. Instead of the Bat Signal, they complain, Gotham now has virtue signals.

Like the Batman gatekeepers, they don’t like that Kane builds her persona on Batman’s. They really don’t like that she doesn’t want people to give a man credit for a woman’s work. In fact, don’t get them started on the inclusion of the word “woman.” It’s fine for her to be a woman or a lesbian, but actually saying it? Heaven forfend!

They were much more receptive to a fan-edited trailer that recently made the rounds. They especially liked that the fan edit excised nearly all of Kane’s lines. This was the trailer they wanted, the one without “identity politics” or a message or a viewpoint.

Looking Into the Bat Future

Despite all the fuss, though, it obviously remains to be seen whether any of this will have an effect on the show itself. After all, The CW is less cancel-happy than other networks and they’ve had a good track record with their superhero shows. In addition, internet noise does not always translate to the real world. For example, films that were pilloried online pre-release did just fine in actual movie theaters.

And the loudest opposition may even end up tuning in. Whether they’re hate-watching or not, The CW most assuredly does not care. It’s still eyeballs on their product, and perhaps more importantly, on their advertisers. So in the end, the Batwoman trailer backlash could just turn out to be a lot of sound and fury signifying not much at all.

DCTV Shows

Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. She now splits her time between the Appalachian wilds (of Alabama) and the considerably more refined streets of New York City. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf.

Leave a comment


IndependentTV Shows
The Boys Season One Review: A Solid Series With Not Enough Heroes

Anyone who signed up to Amazon Prime to watch The Boys season one is likely already aware that this super-show wouldn’t feature many real heroes. In both the series and the comic book that inspired it, the heroes in their costumes are actually all terrible people. It’s a cynical take on celebrity, institutional authority, and […]

BY Joshua M. Patton July 28, 2019
TV Shows
The Arrow Season Finale Ends Era Ahead of Shortened Last Season

The Arrow season finale felt more like the end of the series. Find out why that was and what lies ahead for the emerald archer.

BY Joshua M. Patton May 14, 2019
MarvelTV Shows
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Ending With Next Season

Jeph Loeb dropped the news about Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD ending after the upcoming season 7 and how they feared it was over after season 5.

BY Joshua M. Patton July 18, 2019
Google Stadia Launch is Missing Key, Promised Features

So here’s the thing; it’s easy to get excited about an idea. Something like 4K game streaming, top titles and developers on board, and a new way to play sounds great. The Google Stadia launch is fast approaching, and a recent Reddit AMA about the console raises major concerns about the state in which this […]

BY Taylor Bauer November 14, 2019
Best Exclusive Sony Series of All Time

It goes without saying that Sony wins this round of the Console Wars. While some people hate to think of gaming, as a war, it sort of is. Most gamers are going to buy one console, meaning each major company does what it can to influence consumers to buy their brand. With insane exclusives and […]

BY Taylor Bauer November 13, 2019
Pokemon Hashtag Goes Viral – #ThankYouGameFreak

It’s been a tumultuous built up to Pokemon Sword and Shield. Because of the game’s limited Pokemon roster, hundreds of characters won’t be playable in the new games. Fans are fairly upset, and in a way, they have a right to be. It’s the first time that you won’t be able to transfer Pokemon from […]

BY Taylor Bauer November 11, 2019
EA Renews Skate Trademark, But No New Game Likely

People got really deflated and then somewhat excited about a trademark this morning. One of EA’s most dedicated fan-bases are obsessed with the Skate games. There hasn’t been a new game for 10 years, but it’s not something we can rule out. When you read that EA renews Skate trademark, it’s easy to get excited, […]

BY Taylor Bauer November 8, 2019


New Mutants #1: Beautiful Art Sometimes Clashes with a Great Script from Hickman and Brisson

Well, we’re at book five of six of the Dawn of X era, and again we’re going back to a classic title. New Mutants was a runaway hit when Claremont started it back in the 80s and gave us characters like Cannonball, Mirage, Sunspot, Cypher, Boom Boom, Karma, and more. Now they’re a bit grown […]

BY Roman Colombo November 17, 2019
Joker Passes $1 Billion Worldwide, Making October Look Better to Studios

Joker has been having quite the time passing records left and right. From highest-grossing R-rated film, to top opening weekends in October, it just wants to have the last laugh everywhere that it goes. Well, Joker now passed $1 billion dollars in the worldwide box office. It is only the 4th DC title to do […]

BY Meghan Hale November 16, 2019
Book Review: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern Is A Lyrical Metafictional Dream

Erin Morgenstern first captured the hearts of fantasy readers around the world with her debut novel, The Night Circus. It began as Morgenstern’s NaNoWriMo project, and went on to win the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Eight years later Erin Morgenstern has published The Starless Sea. Her second novel is a lyrical, romantic work […]

BY Emily O'Donnell November 16, 2019
Impeachment: American Crime Story Casts Clive Owen as Bill Clinton

American Crime Story might be less beloved than its horror-centric sister show, but it’s great nonetheless. The People v. O. J. Simpson was incredible, and the The Assassination of Gianni Versace earned Darren Criss a well-earned Emmy. Next up is Impeachment: American Crime Story, set to depict the action and aftermath of President Bill Clinton’s […]

BY Taylor Bauer November 16, 2019