A recent interview with the Harley Quinn showrunners revealed some surprising pushback they received over Batman and Catwoman's sex life. Recently, Variety spoke to the showrunners of several superhero genre television shows about how they attempt to subvert the popular superhero tropes while still making good television. One quote from the article came from Justin Halpern, the co-creator and executive producer of Harley Quinn, where he spoke about the freedom he had by making a show about supervillains. "It’s incredibly gratifying and free to be using characters that are considered villains because you just have so much more leeway,” says Halpern.
Halpern provided Variety with a surprising example from the upcoming season, which involved WB nixing a proposed sex scene featuring Batman and Catwoman. "A perfect example of that is in this third season of ‘Harley’ [when] we had a moment where Batman was going down on Catwoman," Halpen said. "And DC was like, ‘You can’t do that. You absolutely cannot do that.’ They’re like, ‘Heroes don’t do that.’ So, we said, ‘Are you saying heroes are just selfish lovers?’ They were like, ‘No, it’s that we sell consumer toys for heroes. It’s hard to sell a toy if Batman is also going down on someone.’"
Variety noted that Halpern and co-executive producer Patrick Schumacker were still complimentary of their experience on Harley Quinn, and that Warner Bros had allowed them to "push the envelope" multiple times. Still, the anecdote shows how protective Warner Bros is of some DC characters, especially when it comes to revealing their....more intimate side.
This isn't the first time that Batman has come under controversy because of how he's depicted. Back in 2018, DC Comics chose to remove a sequence in Batman: Damned in which Batman stripped out of his costume and his nude profile was shown in silhouette. While that sequence appeared in the first run of Batman: Damned #1, it was subsequently removed in both digital versions and the eventual collections.
It's unclear whether Batman will be shown engaging in any sort of "un-heroic" actions when Harley Quinn returns to HBO Max for Season 3, which is set to debut later this year.