Supernatural star Misha Collins has addressed accusations from fans that the show’s final season played into the controversial ‘bury your gays’ trope and ‘censored’ an important scene.
With the hit CW show coming to an end after 15 seasons and a whopping 327 episodes, viewers were prepared to experience a whole range of feelings. But an unexpected response was anger, which came from fans who believe the show wronged Misha Collins’ character Castiel.
After he declared his love for Dean Winchester in the November 5 episode Despair – confirming what fans have suspected for years – Castiel was then killed off. It played into the ‘bury your gays’ trope, where TV shows and movies always kill off their LGBTQ characters, and fans aren’t happy about it.
Collins took to Twitter to address the backlash, saying he was “disheartened” to see that the fanbase was feeling unheard and unsupported, but also arguing that there were a lot of “misconceptions” surrounding the show’s finale season.
I’m seeing a lot of commentary on the ending of #SPN & the recent Spanish dub & am disheartened to see there are a lot of misconceptions that are making many in our family feel unheard & unsupported, so I’m calling a #SPNFamily meeting to sort a few things out for the record: pic.twitter.com/hwK0HOkZ8a
— Misha Collins (@mishacollins) November 26, 2020
“In my opinion, Cas doesn’t play into the “bury your gays” trope,” he said in a series of tweets. “His declaration of love saves Dean, enabling Sam & Dean to save all of humanity. And Cas doesn’t die! He actually goes on to rebuild heaven!
“Was the show perfect? No. Could Cas’ departure have had more resonance in the final episodes? Sure. But I’m confident you guys can sort that part out as your writing, art, and imaginations play the story out past the last frames we filmed.”
Spanish dub led to ‘censorship’ claims from Supernatural fans
Fans have also raised their frustrations over a Spanish dub of the scene – which aired a couple of weeks behind the US – in which Dean actually says ‘I love you’ back to Castiel.
It’s an entirely different response to the English dub, where Dean remains silent.
HERE IS THE SCENE IN SPANISH A BIT MORE EXTENDED AHHHH pic.twitter.com/VKL6wRYcHv
— heller, diana heller (@knjbabygirl) November 25, 2020
Some viewers have now accused the CW of censoring the scene, claiming that the Spanish dub where Dean also declares his love for Castiel is the “real” ending. There’s even a hashtag #TheySilencedYou being used.
The CW has many series with prominent LGBTQ characters in them, such as the Arrowverse collection of shows, so it seems highly unlikely that the network actually censored or changed the scene – but that won’t be enough to silence the fury of the fans.
THIS ISNT ABOUT A SHIP. IT WAS NEVER ABOUT A SHIP. THIS IS CENSORSHIP FROM A NETWORK THAT MAKES SO MUCH MONEY OUT OF LGBT PEOPLE PLEASE WAKE UP #TheySilencedYou
— clown. (@fallenatic841) November 25, 2020
THE NETWORK IS NOT GETTING AWAY WITH VIOLENTLY CENSORING A QUEER RELATIONSHIP. STORM'S COMING AND YOU GUYS ARE SMACK IN THE MIDDLE OF IT. #TheySilencedYou
— Yo A Ti, CAS (Anu) #TheySilencedYou (@Aww_stardust) November 25, 2020
Collins weighed in, explaining that the Spanish dub dialogue was the result of a “rogue translator” and denied claims that there was a ‘conspiracy’ to censor a potential romance between Castiel and Dean.
“There was no conspiracy within the network, staff, or cast of [Supernatural] to minimize or erase representation from the narrative & there was no alternate ending to 15.18. Dean was always too stunned in the moment to reply,” he said.
“I naively thought Cas in 15.18 was going to feel validating. But this isn’t about me. I’m going to shut up and listen for a change. If it’s not too much to ask, please tell me what we could have done better.”
If you’re still feeling emotional that Dean and Sam’s story has come to a close, several of the show’s cast members including Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and Alexander Calvert have shared their best memories of their time on Supernatural.