SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for “Batgirl” #37, released this past Wednesday.
The “Batgirl” creative team of Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr have issued a formal apology on Twitter for this week’s “Batgirl” #37, and how the storyline dealt with its villianous cross-dressing character.
In the story, Batgirl faces off against an imposter dressing as a sequinned-version of Batgirl. Concerns of transphobia were raised over how the villain was revealed as Dagger Type, a mentally-unstable cross-dresser, as well as Batgirl/Barbara Gordon’s shocked reaction to the character’s sex.
A post on Autostraddle — titled “How Batgirl #37 Undid a Year and a Half of Positive Trans Repreentation in a Single Page” — took issue with the problematic depiction, writing: “In this latest issue, not only do the writers play with some very dangerous transmisogynistic tropes, but they toss Barbara Gordon’s character development out the window and turn her from being the close friend and ally to a trans woman to an outright transphobe,” noting Gail Simone’s “Batgirl” run that introduced Barbara Gordon’s roommate Alysia Yeoh, a transgendered character, and the positive relationship between the two characters.
In a tweet sent out Saturday, Stewart wrote: “We made mistakes. We’re deeply sorry. We will do better, “and included an apology signed by the three creators that acknowledged the story’s problems and apologized for offending readers. The apology also thanked readers “who stand up to speak out about their perspective on stories like this,” adding “their commentary leads to universally better storytelling, from both ourselves and others, and we hope to live up that standard in the future.”
Batgirl 37. We made mistakes. We’re deeply sorry. We will do better. pic.twitter.com/fCOEJPk0vP
– Cameron Stewart (@cameronMstewart) December 13, 2014
Stewart also added on Twitter that, “It pained us to stay silent for so long but we felt we needed to listen for a bit instead of talking,” and also: “The worldview that says you should never apologize for anything is pretty screwed up.”