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Ruby Rose, the queer star of the CW's Batwoman, which features TV's first lesbian superhero in the lead role, announced in a statement that she will not return for the show's second season. Now, the search is on for a new Kate Kane, a.k.a. Batwoman.
"I have made the very difficult decision to not return to Batwoman next season," Rose said in a statement. "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."
"I am beyond appreciative to Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Caroline Dries for not only giving me this incredible opportunity, but for welcoming me into the DC universe they have so beautifully created." Rose continued, also thanking the CW and Warner Bros.
"Thank you to everyone who made season one a success -- I am truly grateful," she said.
While Rose neglected to explain why she wouldn't return to the series, she did say last September that she had undergone surgery for two herniated discs. Ratings for the series averaged 0.5 among adults 18-49. That put it behind the long-running Arrow and The Flash, according to Variety.
There was considerable outcry on social media when Rose, who is genderfluid and a lesbian, was cast in the role. She was met with tweets from some who seemed not to know that she was queer and many complaining that she wasn't the right kind of queer person. A few Twitter users alleged that she was cast merely because she's "well-known and liked by straight girls."'
She was also criticized for comments that seemed to infer the role would minimize the sexuality of the character.
Last September as the series was premiering, Rose addressed the backlash.
"I didn't really care because I worked really hard to get the role. I really wanted to do the role. It's a dream role," Rose said. "I've said it before, but I'm not going to be on my deathbed wishing that people on the internet liked me more," she added.
Rose has exited the series, but the studio is committed to find a new star to fill the bat suit.
"Warner Bros. Television, the CW and Berlanti Productions thank Ruby for her contributions to the success of our first season and wish her all the best," the three companies said in a joint statement. "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."