At a recent Supernatural convention, actor Misha Collins condemned the show’s treatment of female characters.

In his panel at the Salute to Supernatural in Whippany, New Jersey, Collins took a side on a longstanding debate in the show’s fandom:

“I’m frankly surprised by the show,” Collins says. He quickly backtracks, saying, “Sorry, people who write the show and everybody who works on it and everything,” before adding, “but there’s stupid things on the show that they shouldn’t do. Like, why do they have to say ‘bitch’ and kill all the women?”

In fact, the opening scene of the pilot revolves around the fiery death of Mary Winchester, Sam and Dean’s mother. The pilot also ends in a mirror to this, with the death of Sam’s girlfriend, Jessica. These events push the Winchester family into hunting in their quest for revenge.

This is a symptom of a bigger problem, according to Collins. “[T]here are certain small ways in which the show is sort of gratuitously misogynistic when it doesn’t need to be,” he says. “When I read the scripts, I cringe sometimes. Yeah, there’s a million other things you could say, you don’t need to do this.

“Or, um, you have killed every other female character who had more than a two-episode arc,” he continues, alluding to characters like Bela Talbot, Ruby, and Anna Milton. “Do you have to take this one?”

After some input from the crowd, Collins conceded that, “Charlie’s still around, although she’s not a threat to the boys as a romantic interest because she’s gay.” Another female character mentioned is Sheriff Jody Mills, who was developing as a potential love interest to the Winchesters’ surrogate father, Bobby Singer, before his death.

The debate over Supernatural‘s alleged misogynistic tendencies has been a hot one for years, ranging from the number of female characters to exist on the show to how long said characters last once they have been introduced, and the ratio of female to male victims.

Do you agree with Collins on the treatment of women in ‘Supernatural’?

Edited by Karen Rought