SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for RWBY Volume 7, Chapter 12, “With Friends Like These”
Members of the RWBY ‘shipping’ fandom who shipped two particular male characters together were outraged following the debut of the most recent chapter, which features the death of one of the characters involved in the ship, and have accused Rooster Teeth of intentionally ‘queer baiting’ their fans.
In the latest chapter, “With Friends Like These,” Team RWBY attempts to avoid arrest and save the city of Mantle after General Ironwood revealed that his plan to place the City of Atlas into the atmosphere, rather than Amity Tower, would sacrifice the people of Mantle as collateral damage.
During the ensuing mayhem, a three-way fight breaks out between Qrow Branwen, Tyrian Callows, and Clover Ebi. In a surprise moment, Qrow teams up with Tyrian against Clover, turning the tide of the battle and ultimately resulting in Clover’s death at the hands of Tyrian:
Following Clover’s tragic death, FNDM shippers who supported the ship between Qrow and Clover were outraged at Rooster Teeth’s decision to kill off the Ace Operatives leader and quickly accused them of queer baiting and homophobia for killing off one half of a gay ship:
The way that entire scene played out was so fucked up: dying to Qrow’s weapon, teaming up with a serial killer, the light fading from Clover’s eyes. They thought they achieved dramatic brilliance but it was really just their hate of gay men shining through. #RWBY  #RWBY7 
— RWBY-hates-gay-men (@PanlieisCanon) January 25, 2020 
I feel like everyone is ignoring that we dont have ANY substantial mlm rep in rwby yet. I agree that having main characters that are queer means it doesnt traditional count as bury your gays/QB but we CANNOT IGNORE that the closest we’ve come to mlm rep was ripped away
— Elder Kira [rwby7 spoilers] (@kuiperphantasia) January 25, 2020 
RWBY HOMOPHOBIC RWBY HATES GAYS RWBY GAY KILLER RWBY HATE CRIMES
— megamind #⃝ (@megamind_0) January 25, 2020 
The thing is, there is this little trupe that’s everywhere in media called burry your gays. And I don’t think this would have counted towards the trope if it was a wlw person dying. But Qrow and Clover having feelings for each other was at least heavily hinted at. And [1/?]
— jana ️ #RWBY spoilers (@goodgirljana) January 25, 2020 
YouTuber Hero Hei points out a number of others upset at the death of Clover and the ship.
Despite the quick growth in popularity of the ship, referred to among the FNDM as ‘Fair Game, ‘Clover, and ‘Lucky Charms,’ there has never been an official confirmation from Rooster Teeth that Clover and Qrow are gay, much less that they have romantic feelings for each other. The ship is mostly predicated on a scene in the chapter “Ace Operatives” where Clover ‘winks’ at Qrow after saving him from a Grimm during a mission:
“With Friends Like These” premiered on January 25th for members of Rooster Teeth FIRST, the studio’s personal membership platform. The episode will be available to general audiences on February 1st, 2020.