Supernatural star Misha Collins doesn’t think his character’s coming out moment contributed to a harmful trope
Supernatural star Misha Collins has explained why he doesn’t think his character’s death seconds after declaring his love for a man contributed to harmful tropes.
The final season of Supernatural surprised fans with the reveal in its third-to-last episode earlier this month, which saw the angel Castiel (Collins) declare his love for Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) after 12 seasons of closeness and occasionally-teased flirtation.
The reveal came just seconds before Castiel sacrificed his life to save Dean, marking the character’s permanent exit from the show
Misha Collins says he was ‘really proud’ of exit scene
Some fans have criticised the handling of the moment, described by Collins as a “homosexual declaration of love”, suggesting that it plays into the age-old ‘bury your gays’ Hollywood trope of queer characters meeting sticky ends.
In a fan panel discussion over the weekend, Collins spoke about the moment.
He said: “I was really happy with it… that was the ending that I wanted for Cas and so when I read the script I was really happy that it had made it to the page.
“It felt like it was a little bit risky and a little brave for the show to do and I was happy to be a part of that and happy to be able to have that character express love like that.”
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He continued: “I’ve seen some people complaining about this is playing into the ‘bury your gays’ trope, which is an insidious and real trope in film and television storytelling from Hollywood over the years, and I don’t think that’s what was happening with Castiel’s ending.”
Supernatural star explains why character’s death wasn’t a ‘bury your gays’ moment
Collins noted that death is far from the end in the Supernatural universe, with the main characters having racked up more than a dozen demises between them over the years. The final episodes tie a bow on the issue by making references to Castiel’s off-screen work in the afterlife to get Heaven back into shape.
The actor said: “First of all, Cas is not dead, he’s in Heaven, and working to rebuild Heaven. Also, so much good came from that declaration.
“Because Cas was able to save Dean, by the transitive property, that was absolutely essential to saving the world. So this declaration wasn’t like, ‘Then fate strikes you down and you’re done forever.’ Actually, that declaration ended up literally saving the world. And it was of Cas’s own volition, he wasn’t forced to do that, that was his choice and I think that’s important too.
“Maybe I’m naïve but I don’t think that that’s operating there, I don’t think we’re playing into that trope, and I’m glad that Castiel got to express that. I think it’s kind of important and I’m proud that the show did that, frankly. But I’m sure that this is a conversation we’ll continue to have as we dissect it going forward.”