The same contingent of RWBY fans who were outraged that Rooster Teeth ‘queerbaited’ audiences with a relationship between Qrow Branwen and Clover Ebi have yet again taken issue with the studio, this time due to the announcement of new merchandise featuring the two characters.
On February 3rd, Rooster Teeth announced the addition of a new t-shirt, keychain, pint glass, and pin set based on Qrow, with the pin set also including a pin referencing Clover, the former leader of the Ace Operatives, to their webstore:
— RWBY (@OfficialRWBY) February 3, 2020
This simple advertisement for the RWBY merch store quickly resulted in a mass of responses from outraged fans who believed that this merchandise was tone deaf in the wake of Clover’s death and that studio was continuing to ‘queerbait’ their fans:
You’d think they’d have a little more respect for their audience and respond to the outcry from their fans, before promoting this. Your fandom is literally torn in half, and looking for answers.#CloverDeservedBetter
— Ace (@LuckyTheAce) February 3, 2020
This is messed up. This is precisely what we mean by y’all baiting the MLM community. Jesus H Christ. Really? R e a l l y?
— TankyCinna (@tankycinna) February 3, 2020
rwby be hyping up fairgame on twt only to kill clover for shock value and then sell merch of clover and qrow together…yikes.
— ally 🌹 (@evesappletini) February 3, 2020
Seriously who the hell is in charge of marketing putting those pins in a set?! Cause the shirt, the glass, and the keychain is all cool stuff, but to pair those pins after what happened? Hell no.
— Brandon (@CybertronGuy98) February 3, 2020
Here’s matching pins for the relationship we queerbaited! pic.twitter.com/mm91Z2XJuf
— 🍀Clover-Deserved-Better (@PanlieisCanon) February 3, 2020
Some fans were particularly outraged at the selling of a Qrow-themed pint glass due to the character’s status as a recovering alcoholic, despite the fact that the ‘pint’ in the term ‘pint glass’ refers to a literal ‘pint’ of liquid and not specifically a ‘pint of beer.’
Isn’t Qrow a recovering Alcoholic? And yall made a pint glass with him on it? Man what-
— Runaan / Ceo of Summer [RWBY7SPOILERS] (@awkwardnegro) February 3, 2020
Also hey roosterteeth???? Why a pint glass for the character who’s a recovering alcoholic??
— Nat 🔜 C2E2 (@shiieldmaiden) February 3, 2020
Oh we’re so in tune with our fanbase, look!
Here’s a PINT GLASS for our recovering alcoholic who’s on a downward spiral!
— Scopa tu Bootlicker™👢👅 @Fairgame (@ignis_azalea) February 3, 2020
The backlash was covered by anime YouTuber Hero Hei:
As of writing, Rooster Teeth has not responded to the fan complaints.