Jared Padalecki to Supernatural Fans' Podcast Pushback: "Stand Down"

What a difference a day makes in the world of the Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki-starring Supernatural. Yesterday, we reported that Richard Speight Jr. & Rob Benedict were teaming up with Story Mill Media for the new rewatch podcast series Supernatural Then and Now that's launching on January 24. Each episode includes the cast, crew, and producers offering their behind-the-scenes perspectives on how the episodes made it from the page to the screen, with Ackles and Padalecki appearing in the first two episodes to help kick things off. They even have writer & author Jessica Mason (The Binge Watcher's Guide to Supernatural: An Unofficial Companion) writing the show, so it seemed like a good thing… right? Well, it would appear that we were wrong- so much so that Padalecki had to take to Twitter to ask that his supporters to "stand down"- here's why.

Supernatural -- "Gimme Shelter" -- Image Number: SN1515B_0248r.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Jared Padalecki as Sam and Jensen Ackles as Dean -- Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Supernatural — Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Remember back to November 2020. The show was reaching its end and there was that controversy surrounding the Spanish version of the Supernatural episode "Despair" where Castiel's (Misha Collins) declaration of love to Dean (Ackles) was met with the response, "And I, you, Cas" as opposed to the U.S. version: "Don't do this, Cas". Accusations of corporate pressure along with arguments that the way the entire Castiel/Dean wrap-up was handled fed into the "bury your gays' trope began storming across social media, and the topic was addressed by those associated with the show, who love the show, and who cover the show. One of those people was Mason, who write a piece that month entitled "Fandom Conspiracy Theories Are Just as Dangerous as Others" (which you can read here) where they took issue with those in the SPN fandom, pushing back on what they called, "wild conspiracy theories." Some of the excerpts from the piece that fans are taking issues with include:

"It only took a week following the series finale for The CW's Supernatural fans to make me feel embarrassed by my original fandom again. But the embarrassment and frustration I'm feeling are due to more than just fandom drama, because I've watched, since the finale as normal, completely understandable frustration with a story not ending the way you like has devolved, for some, into the equivalent of fandom QAnon, and it's not only upsetting but downright scary."

"It's been fascinating and terrifying to watch all of this happen in fandom at the exact same time that Donald Trump is exploiting the conspiracy-addled minds of his supporters to subvert the election. Because it's all the same. No matter how strong the evidence is that Trump lost or that the final episodes of Supernatural were just (hate to say it) poorly written and executed, that doesn't fit with the narrative some people want to believe. And it's thanks to Trump that we know how devastating ignoring reality can be."

"And just like TrumpWorld, where Fox News and all kinds of bigotry have fomented together for years to condition a population to believe that there's a secret cabal of deep state Democrats that drink baby blood, a sector of online fandom has spent years nursing justified anger at lack of representation and poring over every frame of television shows with such fervor that some of them can no longer see the forest for the trees."

Now a little over a year later, fans have taken to social media again- except this time, to push back on Mason being involved & making money off of a series and its fans after (according to numerous posts) disrespecting the show and those associated with it. Others question if any due diligence was done on Mason and their past work. So much so that Padalecki took to Twitter to let the fans know that he appreciates the love and support they've given the show but that he also wants them to take a deep breath and enjoy what the podcast has to offer in the "big picture" even if the specifics aren't to everyone's liking:

"Gonna pipe in real fast (which backfires sometimes, but, oh well)… Anybody who supports my friends, even if they've been "aggressive" towards me, deserves a chance. Thank y'all SO MUCH for wanting to "protect" me, but please stand down…. / Sometimes people say or do things that may not seem mind or measured to those outside the situation… god knows I have. But, selfishly, if I get the opportunity to chat with [Jensen Ackles], [Rob Benedict], and [Richard Speight Jr.], then I don't mind the specifics. / I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have chatted about ['Supernatural'] with 3 guys that I consider family. Whether somebody out there is #teamdean #teamsam #teamcass or #teamjess, let's all just focus on what GOOD can come out of it."

Supernatural (Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved)

Here's a look back to November 2020 when Collins called a meeting of the SPN Family on Instagram to express his thoughts and put some rumors to rest regarding Dean & Castiel. Over the course of the clip (which you can check out below, followed by a transcript), Collins says there was "no conspiracy" on anyone's part "to minimize or erase" LGBTQ representation, and that there was no alternate ending to the episode. Collins believes that Dean was "too stunned in the moment" to offer a proper response and that the words contained in the Spanish version were the result of a "rogue translator" going with a personal interpretation. As for the "bury your gays" accusation, Collins pushed back by saying that Castiel's declaration of love not only proved powerful enough to save Dean, and by extension all of humanity. Also, he points to Dean's trip to "new Heaven" in the series finale as another sign that the top tag doesn't apply: not only is Castiel still alive, he helped Jack (Alexander Calvert) rebuild Heaven.

"I'm seeing a lot of commentary on the ending of SPN & the recent Spanish dub, and disheartened to see there are a lot of misconceptions that are making many in our family feel unheard & unsupported, so I'm calling a #SPNFamilyMeeting to sort a few things out for the record:

There was no conspiracy within the network, staff, or cast of SPN to minimize or erase representation from the narrative & there was no alternate ending to 1518. Dean was always too stunned in the moment to reply. (Apparently a rogue translator penned their own dialogue.)

Also, in my opinion Cas doesn't play into the "bury your gays" trope. His declaration of love saves Dean, enabling Sam and 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 and art and imaginations play the story out past the last frames we filmed.

I'm proud to have spent more than a decade of my life telling a story where good consistently triumphs over evil…

And I'm especially proud that my character's parting message was, "expressing your true self, letting yourself love who you truly want to love, openly & honestly, can literally save the world… & in the end, good things do happen — & they're worth fighting for." I love you all."

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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