Robin Lord Taylor says fans upset by a gay Penguin is “a bunch of horseshit”
Robin Lord Taylor was the breakout star of Batman prequel/spin-off series Gotham from the very first episode, but he says fans complaining about his character The Penguin’s sexuality are ‘homophobic’.
Speaking at the Rhode Island Comic Con, Taylor said he “wanted to address people who say, ‘I have no problem with him being gay or queer or anything, I just have a problem with you guys changing or altering the canon.’”
“I have to say that that’s a bunch of horseshit,” Taylor continued. “Because, you can’t say that to me if you also didn’t have the same amount of consternation about Batman ’89, where the Joker killed Batman’s parents. That is a total departure from the canon characters.”
Taylor asked if the same people who were concerned by his character being gay were concerned about Batman and Catwoman growing up together.
“What you are saying to me is ‘I am homophobic and I am afraid of gay people and queer people’,” Taylor said.
Just last month the actor said that he tapped into his own time as an overweight, gay teenager to connect to classic villain The Penguin, who’s portrayed in the show as a bit of a social outcast.
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“With The Penguin specifically, we’re very fortunate in that we have about 70 years of mythology to draw upon and do research with and that’s what I did when I got the role of The Penguin,” Taylor told Fuse.
“That’s when I learned he was bullied as a child, he was always treated as an outsider. That was my human link to the character. I learned that and I was like, ‘This is something I want to show and root him down to reality.’”
“Growing up overweight and gay in small-town Iowa in the ’80s and ’90s—it was much different than it is now—and I know exactly what that feels like.”
Gotham just started its third series, but launched back in 2014, and drew attention at the time for featuring a prominent lesbian relationship between two main characters, one of whom was a police detective.