11:08 am - 07/18/2014

Fans Take Supernatural to Task for 'Queer Baiting'

The CW show Supernatural left fans angry when an attempt at a promotional hashtag went awry.

Producers of the CW's primetime drama Supernatural found themselves backtracking Wednesday after a hashtag that was meant to create buzz around the show backfired, with frustrated fans voicing their allegations of "queer baiting" a yet-to-materialize romantic relationship between main character Dean Winchester, played by Jensen Ackles, and angel Castiel, portrayed by Misha Collins.

The phrase queer baiting generally refers to when TV shows or movies hint at possible same-sex relationships, generally to appease their LGBT fans, without ever actually developing that relationship on-screen. It's not a new allegation for Supernatural, as the Urban Dictionary definition of the term "queer baiting," published last year, specifically references the show.

Apparently unaware of the potential for hashtags to be "highjacked" by those with less than promotional intentions, the show promoted the hashtag #AskSupernatural through the show's Twitter account on Wednesday, looking to drum up conversation about the show in the week leading up to San Diego Comic-Con. After fans primarily used the hashtag to critique the show's unconfirmed subtext, the Supernatural Twitter account deleted its post promoting #AskSupernatural.

The show's viewers and followers on Twitter kept the questions coming, though:

For a few seasons, the sexual tension between Dean and Castiel has been building, prompting fans to speculate about a possible romantic relationship between the two, even creating a couple name for the two: Destiel. Some fans have argued that the character of Dean is sexually fluid, with some even labeling him bisexual. Creators and actors involved with the show have hinted at a romantic relationship on social media and in interviews, adding fuel to the firey rumors.

In an interview with the Huffington Post in 2012, Collins, who plays Castiel, said the relationship between Dean and Cas was going to grow.

“The scripts that I've seen so far have been dealing very much with that relationship between Dean and Castiel," Collins said. "Whether that's going to be the most significant or a very significant thread throughout the season, I'm not sure, but my speculation is that yes, it will be fairly [important]."

Then in two different interviews in 2013, one with the Huffington Post and another with TV Fantatic, Collins offered more overt hints to the relationship, saying he recieved a note from showrunner Jeremy Carver to play his character as a "jilted lover" when Castiel and Dean are reuinted.

Groups of fans have encouraged, and even demanded, that the producers make good on the same-sex subtext, with some announcing they have quit watching the show, frustrated and feeling they'd been led on.

Indeed, it's tough to label the relationship between the two characters, but there have been several scenes that would seem out of place to occur between two heterosexual men who were "just friends." Last season, Dean tells Castiel that he "needs" him — though Daily Dot later revealed that the script originally called for Dean to tell Castiel "I love you."


Which TV show queer baits the most in your opinion, ontd?
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morgan90 18th-Jul-2014 02:58 am (UTC)
These poor ppl just want Supernatural anal prolapse porn to be canon
turkish_popstar 18th-Jul-2014 03:00 am (UTC)
still scarred for life when someone posted a link to that in one of the threads here
morgan90 18th-Jul-2014 03:03 am (UTC)
The best part was how they just used random candids of the actors for the heads, so it's like Jared Padalecki smiling pleasantly as his anus spills out of him
endingonfire 18th-Jul-2014 03:17 am (UTC)
I think the actual "artist" appeared in an ontd post one time when her "art" was posted lol
babycnessa 18th-Jul-2014 03:08 am (UTC)
Just when I forget that I saw that someone post about it and I remember and oh god I wish I didn't remember why god why!
geraldine_blank 18th-Jul-2014 04:32 am (UTC)
mythago woods is seared into my memory
gee 18th-Jul-2014 02:58 am (UTC)
But this is like a thousand seasons too late.
devourlove 18th-Jul-2014 03:39 am (UTC)
lol mte. this has been going on for at least 3 season with no complaint and now they're getting mad enough to actually speak up
paarycia 18th-Jul-2014 12:16 pm (UTC)
lmao ikr
lestat 18th-Jul-2014 03:00 am (UTC)
can destiel stans just give it a rest, fucking christ. and lmao queerbaiting on spn is nothing compared to the constant bullshit that is rizzoli and isles.
boogalooshaman 18th-Jul-2014 03:11 am (UTC)
Rizzoli and Isles?! I would have thought that show was to...idk mature? for that kind of thing.
microminiscrew 18th-Jul-2014 04:30 am (UTC)
So did I, imagine my surprise when it turns out they have the same problem. Except queer girls get even less than scraps so it's even more testy
phantom_chini 18th-Jul-2014 03:51 am (UTC)
Rizzoli and Isles is one of the worst offenders when it comes to queerbaiting, it's ridiculous.
veritas_44 18th-Jul-2014 04:52 am (UTC)
As soon as I read the title, I immediately thought of R&I. Out of all the shows I watch (which is a lot), they are the worst offenders by large.
leprechaundust 18th-Jul-2014 08:14 pm (UTC)
I don't understand why friends of mine (who are lesbian/bi) still watch that show when the people who run the show/are in it think it's "amusing" that the characters in R&I could be seen as queer. Like why would you put yourself through that??
teddy22888 18th-Jul-2014 03:00 am (UTC)
Fans who expect Destiel to become canon are bat-crap crazy.
lestat 18th-Jul-2014 03:01 am (UTC)
i legit don't understand why people NEED their ships to be validated by canon. fandom is fandom and canon is canon.
boogalooshaman 18th-Jul-2014 03:23 am (UTC)
I feel like fandoms have gotten too big for their britches in this day and age. Like, you aren't actually an involved contributor to the stories/show. Deal with it.
chicaintcheap 18th-Jul-2014 03:33 am (UTC)
meh ia with that in general, but to be fair, Supernatural caters to its fans a LOT, it gets weird at times how much they've done it. idk if I've seen any other show that has let fandom stuff enter canon.
la_petite_singe 18th-Jul-2014 03:40 am (UTC)
Nor do I, really -- and that was even before discovering "TJLC" on Tumblr.
emptyobsidian 18th-Jul-2014 03:17 am (UTC)
I don't even think its that blatant in the show. I went online to read what people thought about the finale of the last season and it was a bunch of Destiel fans screaming about how they expected them to be a couple at the end of this season and that would be the big cliffhanger and what actually happened "doesn't make sense". Like, what? Them being an actual couple hasn't been built up at all. They really expected them to be boyfriends in the actual show?? And NOT Dean turning into a demon which has been teased for like...8 seasons now. Legitimate crazy people.
bas_saarebas 18th-Jul-2014 03:00 am (UTC)
Jean Summers

HBIC would never
hisjulliet 18th-Jul-2014 03:01 am (UTC)
lol they're just now complaining about it?
smellyodiq 18th-Jul-2014 03:01 am (UTC)
bless the fat ugly women who still watch this show
alterector 18th-Jul-2014 03:02 am (UTC)
Fire meet gasoline *sings*
pikapika217 18th-Jul-2014 03:02 am (UTC)
So is there genuine subtext on the show or is it like, Sterek?
lestat 18th-Jul-2014 03:03 am (UTC)
i quit circa s5 and i'd say it was in sterek land or ppl just riffing on homophobic in show jokes and trying to turn it into shipping
sherrilina 18th-Jul-2014 03:07 am (UTC)
There is more of a basis to the relationship than Sterek at least, in that there is an actual bond/close friendship there, and they make a lot of slashy jokes on the show. The fandom is often very similar to Sterek though, generally if someone watches both shows it's the same people.
bbbbaked 18th-Jul-2014 03:13 am (UTC)
There is no genuine subtext, none. There have been a handful of jokes in 9 seasons but there is absolutely no basis for an actual relationship.
teamdowney 18th-Jul-2014 04:52 am (UTC)
MTE. This article is embarrassing and the fan base is equally so. At least the ones who believe in Destiel.
frelling_tralk 18th-Jul-2014 02:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah that's how I see it, they like to make jokes and wink to the audience (they did the exact same with brothers Sam and Dean being mistaken for a couple, it was meant as a wink to the wincest fans, not them planning for that to lead to a canon incest relationship!), but I've never seem it as them writing Destial as genuine sexual tension that they're planning to take anywhere
sapitacherry 18th-Jul-2014 03:17 am (UTC)
no, anything remotely gay is always a joke on this show
hemsworth 18th-Jul-2014 03:30 am (UTC)
i cannot stand sterek shippers at all
devourlove 18th-Jul-2014 03:41 am (UTC)
subtext meant in jest to keep fans interested, essentially, aka "longing looks" and declarations of affection, etc etc. from what i've heard lol
krissy4now 18th-Jul-2014 03:56 am (UTC)
definitely more than sterek
ljtryout 18th-Jul-2014 05:30 am (UTC)
Well... There's some stuff, some 'you're my family, i love you' shit, and then there's that time Castiel was in Dean's ass.

But yeah, they queerbait like hell.
jamie_gw 18th-Jul-2014 06:12 pm (UTC)
IDK what these people are talking about, there is a lot of subtext tbh, like it's pretty blatant IMO

For instance, Cas has given everything up and flipped his whole life around for Dean multiple times now, and the last time there was a line that he did it bc he was "in love with humanity" and later there were lines about how he did it all to save Dean.

Like subtext is obviously up to interpretation, but I cannot with people acting like fans are pulling this out of thin air. The show does it on purpose.
mimblexwimble 18th-Jul-2014 07:17 pm (UTC)
there is zero subtext

most of the time they barely imply a friendship b/w dean and castiel, let alone a romance
miwa201 18th-Jul-2014 09:31 pm (UTC)
not really but there is more than sterek def
actually destiel kind of reminds me of scott/derek
spider_orchid 19th-Jul-2014 04:09 am (UTC)
More canon than sterek but still not going to fucking happen.
chicaintcheap 18th-Jul-2014 03:28 am (UTC)
lmao this music video is a gift
dropthecrates 18th-Jul-2014 06:37 am (UTC)
lil_insanity 18th-Jul-2014 02:27 pm (UTC)
What am I looking at.
bodyline 18th-Jul-2014 03:03 am (UTC)
Honestly, good for these fans. Show runners should be taken to task for still, in the year of our lord 2014, treating gay characters and gay storylines as being Other, while straight is still the default. Like, say what you will about the rabid fans, but ultimately it's the showrunners who are feeding their shipper frenzy without any intention of ever actually just having queer characters. If they're not intending to go anywhere with it, they should not play it up to cater to the obnoxiously loud shipper fanbase.
bas_saarebas 18th-Jul-2014 03:05 am (UTC)
Honestly, with how much they do, what were they expecting with this hashtag?
bodyline 18th-Jul-2014 03:06 am (UTC)
lmfao basically. they invited it on themselves.
pixiegerms 18th-Jul-2014 03:40 am (UTC)
generationxwing 18th-Jul-2014 06:40 am (UTC)
It reminds me of RTD during series 3 of Torchwood. Fans complained that Jack and Ianto weren't getting a real relationship, and even though they were in one, they got no screentime and no actual development.

He promised them that there'd be a lot more of Jack and Ianto in series three, and we'd see a lot of them as a couple.

And then kills Ianto. For no reason.

And makes series four.

scarletfbl 18th-Jul-2014 08:51 am (UTC)
Thank you! People here are just so busy bashing the fans, that they're not actually looking at what the real issue is. Showrunners dangling gay characters/gay storylines over fans heads like a carrot in front of a stubborn mule. The fact that they have no intention of ever following through makes it worse all around.
lil_insanity 18th-Jul-2014 07:29 pm (UTC)
setsuna16 18th-Jul-2014 03:03 am (UTC)
Teen Wolf was soooo baity back in like season 2 it was ridic.

I mean it still has moments, and I'm just like... no...
rikushairflip 18th-Jul-2014 07:09 am (UTC)
The thing that annoyed me the most was it wasn't even bait it was straight up lol wink bitches with the "you'd make a nice pair" line. I didn't ship sterek then and I was like dear god they are catering to them so hard but now it's like a personal vendetta since derek and stiles talk about each other but never interact.
scarletfbl 18th-Jul-2014 08:59 am (UTC)
Yeah, I've actually had to unfriend people on here when I was in SPN fandom because they were so hurt and angry that Jared would go so far as to get married in real life just so he can hide his relationship with Jensen (wait, what?). Don't they know that they can really be together? DOESN'T HE KNOW THAT HE'S BREAKING UP THEIR BROTHERHOOD???

Seriously, I know firsthand that SPN fans can be crazy (more vocal than the actual majority of sane fans), but a lot of them just enjoy the show, and are tired of being lead on that there is going to be a gay romantic relationship, only for the show runners to be like psych! We have no intention of actually doing that. This has been happening for years, and they're only now being really vocal about it/stopped watching the show.
insomniachobs 18th-Jul-2014 03:06 pm (UTC)
There is a section of SPN fandom which really, really tries its utmost to try and force their slash ships not just into canon but onto the actors as well. Then they complain when the actors are NHFT.
piratesswoop 18th-Jul-2014 03:04 am (UTC)
i always find that fans like this aren't really concerned with lgbt representation as much as they want their two favourite white dudes to canonically fuck so they can fap over real scenes instead of having to resort to mythagowood's anal prolapse manips
lestat 18th-Jul-2014 03:05 am (UTC)
ding ding ding
fauxkaren 18th-Jul-2014 03:05 am (UTC)
I detect no lies in this comment.
bodyline 18th-Jul-2014 03:06 am (UTC)
bbbbaked 18th-Jul-2014 03:11 am (UTC)
That is all they care about. They don't give a shit about actual representation.
hisjulliet 18th-Jul-2014 03:13 am (UTC)
generationxwing 18th-Jul-2014 06:43 am (UTC)

There's been what - two or three LGBT characters on Supernatural in its run? (The Felicia Day lesbian, one of the Ghosthunters who died, and a gay couple in the Supernatural convention ep, who were more as a joke - they were named after the two guys who did the Supernatural recaps on TWoP.) (RIP, TWoP)

In nine seasons?

holyfrijoles_2 18th-Jul-2014 03:15 am (UTC)
endingonfire 18th-Jul-2014 03:18 am (UTC)
imnotasquirrel 18th-Jul-2014 03:22 am (UTC)
Yeah, and you know that if the "wrong" couple got together, they'd insist that it didn't count.

See: Swan Queen fandom's reaction to the Mulan reveal.
who_love 18th-Jul-2014 03:41 am (UTC)
there it is
soho 18th-Jul-2014 03:43 am (UTC)
Seriously. It's usually just straight girls who obsessed with white gay male relationships lbr. As if they care about representation.
pikapika217 18th-Jul-2014 03:48 am (UTC)
genuine teen wolf problems because there have been two canon QPOC characters but they don't have the mountain of fic that Sterek does
krissy4now 18th-Jul-2014 03:57 am (UTC)
nichcola 18th-Jul-2014 04:05 am (UTC)
flawedinsomniac 18th-Jul-2014 05:30 am (UTC)
pretty much. a lot of these fans also just shun any actual LGBTQ characters simply because they're not their two hot white dude faves
shining_starsxx 18th-Jul-2014 06:09 am (UTC)
rikushairflip 18th-Jul-2014 07:12 am (UTC)
Sometimes I feel like the only one who notices that comments like these can be said about literally any fans of a straight ship yet somehow if it is two guys the fans are demonized.

Like wow, people want two characters they like together to canonically fuck? What a shocking conclusion!
miwa201 18th-Jul-2014 09:32 pm (UTC)
yep yep yep
spider_orchid 19th-Jul-2014 04:11 am (UTC)
Pretty much.
diamond_dust06 18th-Jul-2014 03:05 am (UTC)
Sherlock is the king of queerbaiting.
evett 18th-Jul-2014 03:39 am (UTC)
They had no shame last season

who_love 18th-Jul-2014 03:55 am (UTC)
lil_insanity 18th-Jul-2014 02:36 pm (UTC)
I don't know if this counts as queerbaiting? The way they handled the character who was describing the theory about Sherlock and Moriarty being an item just seems like they were intentionally being assholes to the fans who ship LGBT relationships.


Edited at 2014-07-18 02:39 pm (UTC)
diamond_dust06 18th-Jul-2014 03:15 pm (UTC)
This scene was actually kind of amusing because it poked fun at the slashers, but then the rest of the season went on with its gross queerbaiting as usual.
nichcola 18th-Jul-2014 04:06 am (UTC)
Oh Christ-Sherlock is high up in the kingdom of queerbaiting.

**And I just realized you said the same thing. I read it as "kind of" instead of "king of".

Edited at 2014-07-18 04:07 am (UTC)
generationxwing 18th-Jul-2014 06:44 am (UTC)
That's one of the reasons I stopped watching. I just got so sick of the "LOL WE'RE NOT GAY LOLOL" bullshit.

Not to mention, Lucy Liu is a fucking fantastic Watson and Martin Freeman just seems like a bit of a dick lately, so I've been watching Elementary instead.
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