How Robin Lord Taylor Feels About Those Gotham Fans Who Are Mad About Penguin's Sexuality

penguin gotham season 3

In this third season of Gotham, the creative team has gone in some wild directions with several of the main characters, and perhaps the most shocking spin of the bunch comes courtesy of Oswald "Penguin" Cobblepot formally declaring his love for Ed "Riddler" Nygma (though not to Ed's face). And while some viewers have embraced this storytelling avenue, others have decried Penguin's roaming sexuality, sometimes citing comic history as the "real" reason for their displeasure. And star Robin Lord Taylor had quite a few charged words to say about it all.

I just want to address the people who say, you know, '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.' And I have to say that that's a bunch of horseshit. 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. You can't tell me that unless you were just as upset that---in our own show---we had Batman and Catwoman growing up together... but you come to me and you say to me that 'I'm OK with you being queer, but I'm upset that you're changing a canon character,' what you are saying to me is 'I am homophobic and I am afraid of gay people and queer people.'

Robin Lord Taylor made these comments while addressing the crowd at the Rhode Island Comic Con (via FanGeek), and if they weren't awesome and cheer-worthy enough on their own, he finished his impassioned speech with a big weight-shedding sigh and a literal mic drop. It was a moment that Penguin himself would have applauded giddily over.

It was only a few weeks ago when Gotham first began the bromance that some fans had already been clamoring for, dubbing the dastardly duo "Nygmobblepot." In his new spot as the Mayor of Gotham City, the character was finally back in a place of leadership after all of the downfalls that beset him in previous seasons, including the death of his mother. Oswald needed companionship, and he sought that out in Ed, and he then turned those feelings into something more, which has created some incredibly difficult situations involving Isabella, the Miss Kringle lookalike that drew Ed's eye (before last week's ending). Triangles should never been so uncomfortable.

But it's not as if Ed has returned any romantic gestures or printed out invitations to a wild Gotham City villain orgy. The storyline will likely blow up in Penguin's face in one way or another, and he'll revert back to only seeking power and might, rather than kinship and physical touch. And so everyone's complaining will have been for naught.

Before taking his stance against those who frown heavily upon Oswald+Ed, Robin Lord Taylor actually explained that he doesn't even see Penguin as "gay," so to speak. Taylor thinks that everything that was going on in the Penguin's life led him to seek comfort in those closest to him at that point, which happened to be Ed, but the actor thinks his villainous character would have likely had the same feelings for anyone else in that particular role in his life, be it Barbara or Tabitha or - and he laughed when he said this last one - Butch. Much like Jefferson Airplane put it, Oswald just wants somebody to love. And that person currently happens to love riddles and have male genitalia.

Gotham airs Monday nights on Fox, and you can watch the full clip from Robin Lord Taylor's panel time on the next page. Head to our fall premiere schedule and our midseason premiere schedule to see what else is on the way.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.