Gotham Star Robin Lord Taylor Addresses Homophobic Reactions to Penguin's Feelings for Riddler

Gotham star Robin Lord Taylor is unfazed by homophobic social media reactions sparked by Penguin's romantic feelings for fellow Bat-villain Riddler (Cory Michael Smith).

"I guess it's kind of like how I feel about anything when you're tracking people's reactions online," the Penguin actor said at Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia, when asked how he felt about reactions to Penguin and Riddler's near-romance. "Well, just how I feel about the reactions of anybody about anything online is that you just get this crazy swing of people saying the absolute worst, horrifying things, and then people being absolutely the most amazing."

Taylor, who is gay, said the response was "twofold."

"Being a gay person and growing up in the Midwest in a small town, I know what [it feels like]. I'm not unaccustomed to homophobia, it's nothing new to me," Taylor said. "So in that regard, I was completely prepared."

Though Taylor admitted to feeling "this extra pressure," the star said his familiarity with homophobia means he doesn't "give a sh-t" about online hate directed his way.

"Really, I'm used to it, so I don't really care what people say about me, either good or bad," he said. "It's more I worry about kids who follow me and watch this. And God forbid there's a queer person out there and they want to come out to their family, and they're a big fan of the show, and then they see the response people are sending to me, they're seeing the homophobia out there directed at me — that's the thing that really upsets me the most."

"But ultimately," Taylor continued, "these conversations have to happen." Taylor then said it's "too easy to focus on" hate-slinging online commenters who are "the minority."

"The people who say terrible, messed up, homophobic stuff, they're the minority. The majority of people are coming at me with love from all sides, it's overwhelming," Taylor said. "I constantly want to tell everybody to remind themselves, yes, kindness is the majority, the kind people will win. We're the most understated because we're kind [laughs], so that was very affirming."


Online response was "just a whole roller coaster of things," said Taylor, who added he "couldn't have been more proud to have been able to be a part of that conversation." Taylor also had praise for partner in crime Smith, who was not present for the panel with co-stars David Mazouz, Sean Pertwee, Maggie Geha and Donal Logue.

"And also couldn't have asked for a better person to go on that ride with than Cory Michael Smith. He is just an amazing person, an amazing actor, an amazing human being," Taylor said. "So I was lucky in so many regards. I feel nothing but love and optimism."