Showrunners Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis had previously teased that Season 5 would feature the first LGBT couple, and that naturally led to speculation that Mulan (Jamie Chung) would be involved, since she had been in love with Aurora. Mulan was in the episode, but the relationship turned out to be between Ruby/Red (Meghan Ory) and Dorothy Gale (Teri Reeves), and Ruby even saved Dorothy with true love's kiss.
— Once Upon a Time (@OncersNet) April 18, 2016
The showrunners commented on the reveal after the episode, telling Entertainment Weekly, "True love's kiss has been a staple of this show since the beginning. This past Sunday's episode was just another example of how in a fairy tale, as in life, love is love."
The reactions -- some positive, many negative -- have been strong across Twitter and comments sections. EW's interview with the showrunners has earned more than 463 comments so far, many of them from disappointed fans, although they are not all disappointed for the same reasons.
Here are some reactions:
From Entertainment Weekly comments:
• This was the saddest excuse for representation I've ever seen in my life
• It was horrible. They've known each other for five minutes and they share a True Love's Kiss? It's so rushed and forced. And now we'll never hear from them again. This is not representation at all. They could have done so much better. I'm so upset. KEEP YOUR TOKENS
• Whoa...really lame. All those fans who wanted Mulan to find happiness....NOPE. Plus Ruby was with nothing but guys S1-2
• I'm not surprised because they cave into the vocal minority a lot instead of handling things with dignity and consideration for all types of their fanbase. No, it's always pissed off the Disney fans because we don't want to look like bigots. I think there is a way to handle these problems, but not how they've been handling them.
• I didn't think it was possible, but they somehow managed to piss off -all- the viewers with this episode. On one hand you have the head in the sand types that refuse to admit that gay people exist and that they deserve to be shown on TV as well. On the other, you have the gay people that have been looking forward to a gay relationship on OUaT be given gay relationship with no buildup, using C- list characters for it (C list characters, not actors. They did what they could with the script they were given) in a way that had no impact on anything and will not be seen again beyond, possibly, a two second shot in the finale. And then you have the neutral party who really don't mind gay people on TV or OUaT, who genuinely watch it for the plot, get an episode that ultimately adds up to a big, fat nothing.
• they didn't piss off sane people who are neither homophobic or define themselves by their sexuality.
• It should have been Ruby/Mulan. We knew and loved those characters and were invested in a wanting a happy ending for them. Who cares about Dorothy? She and Ruby knew each other for, what, one day? And they're able to have a TLK?? That's just ridiculous. At least Ruby & Mulan had been traveling around together for awhile and actually KNEW each other. I'm utterly disappointed & underwhelmed.
From TVLine's comments:
• Statistically speaking, it was braver of them to do a lesbian relationship (Not that I'd call this a relationship) since out of all LGBT people on TV, roughly 30% of them are women.
• I agree. But they took 2 characters, one (Red) that is barely on and one (Dorothy) that we have only seen a few times and paired them up. The LGBT question has been going on with OUaT for several seasons and they kept putting it off and putting it off, and finally they said they were going to do it and then this is what we get. Although it was something, it wasn't enough. It came off like a token relationship. I highly doubt we will see them for awhile. It was something, and that's nice, but it just wasn't enough to get excited about. It's good and bad. If this was 15 years ago, maybe 10, then this would have been huge, so in that way it's good how TV has evolved, but now it comes off as a token relationship, so it comes off not so great.
• Oh, I quite agree. This was a horrible attempt at "representation" and they gained absolutely nothing from it. The homophobes hated it because it was a same sex kiss, the neutrals hated it because it offered nothing to the general plot and the LGBT viewers hated it because it was a poor attempt at going "Oh, look at us! We included two women who kissed. That should pay you back for ignoring your existence for five years, right?" It was poorly written, poorly executed and just poorly done in general. Zero buildup. "They... uh... they love each other I guess? Throw in a kiss to prove it." I can honestly say that no representation would have been better than this. (I should note that this is directed at the people behind the camera. The people on screen got a script and did their best with it)
• What makes all of this worse is that...... I think we all know that we won't see Ruby Slippers again ever. And IF we do? It will be like once a season. That's hardly representation. This is the writers 'shutting up' the LGBT fans, but in reality. This is only pissing us/them off even more for the poor writing.
• I was very surprised and I'm actually kind of proud? Like, finally. But I still hope Mulan gets her happy ending. Jamie Chung is a busy lady, but her character really needs some lovin'.
• I've always enjoyed Red and it's nice to see her so happy. I enjoyed the episode it had a lot of good moments and that kiss at the end was perfect, so many couples in this show have fallen in love during their first or on an adventure that I'm glad the shows first LGBT stayed true to that crafting its own fairy tale couple with them , I'd like to see more Ruby and Dorthy. I loved the Ruby/Snow scenes and I hope Mulan gets a chance to find love too
• Agreed. I thought they were showing signs early in the episode that Ruby and Dorothy were into each other, so I was happy to hear it confirmed when Ruby told Mulan she was in love with her. I agree in thinking that Disney might have had a hand in it being Ruby and Dorothy as the first LGBT couple on the show because the original stories never delve into their love lifes. I wanna see more of Ruby Slippers and yes I want Mulan to find love too whether with Aurora or maybe Merida if they bring her back
Don't ship Ruby/Dorothy if you don't want to. But representation is STILL representation, even if it's not what you wanted. #OnceUponATime
— Lissete Lanuza Sáenz (@LisseteELanuzaS) April 18, 2016
I am appalled at the fan reaction to the kiss between Ruby and Dorothy in last nights episode of #OnceUponaTime
— jordon (@jrdnouat) April 18, 2016
I'm so happy to see a LGBT+ couple on #OnceUponATime althought I was hoping for Ruby and Mulan to get together tbh
— Janie (@xloveforlana) April 18, 2016
Freaking Grumpy & Nova had more relationship development than Ruby & Dorothy. You gave us an LGBT couple you didn't earn #OnceUponATime
— Dana (@JeSuisDeeRee) April 18, 2016
— Once Upon a Time (@OncersNet) April 18, 2016
— Malec ➰ (@PervShips) April 18, 2016
I'm glad the kiss between Dorothy/Ruby got rid of a certain group of people from the #OnceUponATime fandom
— Ellieee Ward ♥ [PB] (@Ellie_AoS_JLS) April 18, 2016
— shae (@mysticcritic) April 18, 2016
Ok that episode was cute. I really wanted Mulan and Ruby to get together but Ruby and Dorothy were kinda adorable. #OnceUponATime
— tyra (@IntrepidPassion) April 18, 2016
Is Ruby Slippers the best representation? No, not by a long shot. But is it better than NOTHING? #OnceUponATime
— * Kenna * (@immekenna) April 18, 2016
At least fans still care enough to ask for more/better when it comes to OUAT, instead of just tuning out. And it's clear there's no way for the showrunners to please everyone, with so many diverging opinions. But we'll have to see how they move forward from here. Do you hope we see more of Ruby and Dorothy in the future?
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