A black actress just made history with a lead role. Javicia Leslie of CBS’ “God Friended Me” has landed the role of Batwoman in the CW’s “Batwoman” series. Her casting means she’ll replace actress Ruby Rose who vacated the role in May after just one season. It also means she’s the first black woman to portray Batwoman on TV.
“I am extremely proud to be the first Black actress to play the iconic role of Batwoman on television, and as a bisexual woman, I am honored to join this groundbreaking show which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community,” said Leslie about her casting.
Ruby Rose has reacted to the news and she’s praising Leslie as well as the series’ cast and crew.
“OMG!! This is amazing!! I am so glad Batwoman will be played by an amazing Black woman. I want to congratulate Javicia Leslie on taking over the bat cape. You are walking into an amazing cast and crew. I can’t wait to watch season 2 you are going to be amazing!!”
While Leslie is replacing Rose, her Batwoman will be a new character entirely; a woman named Ryan Wilder. The Hollywood Reporter reports that Ryan Wilder is described as “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed” lesbian character that lives solitary in a van with a pet plant.
“She’s also nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the Batsuit before her. With no one in her life to keep her on track, Ryan spent years as a drug-runner, dodging the GCPD and masking her pain with bad habits. Today Ryan lives in her van with her plant. A girl who would steal milk for an alley cat and could also kill you with her bare hands, Ryan is the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly undisciplined. An out lesbian. Athletic. Raw. Passionate. Fallible. And very much not your stereotypical All-American hero.”
In addition to her big breakout, Javicia is returning to BET’s “The Family Business” and she’s starred in several series on the original streaming service BLACK & SEXY TV. A Hampton University grad, she took home the title of Miss Hampton University in 2007.
Congrats to Javicia Leslie!