Supernatural prequel The Winchesters introduces non-binary character

A still depicting several characters from The Winchesters, a prequel TV show to the CW series Supernatural

Supernatural prequel The Winchesters introduced a non-binary demon hunter, and longtime star Jensen Ackles said it felt “natural” to make the show more inclusive. 

Fans mournfully bid farewell to demon-hunting brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) after Supernatural came to a close in 2020. Two years later, the CW series spin-off The Winchesters has surprised loyal viewers with the promise of a new story and a non-binary character. 

The Winchesters is set in the 1970s and tells the story of how Dean and Sam Winchester’s parents, John and Mary, met and fell in love. John (Drake Rodger) has just returned home from the Vietnam War when he meets Mary (Meg Donnelly), who saves John from a demon. 

He joins Mary’s hunt for her missing father Samuel. John is introduced to Mary’s friends Latika Desai (Nida Khurshid), a young hunter-in-training, and confident hunter Carlos Cervantez, played by non-binary actor Jonathan ‘JoJo’ Fleites. 

Carlos quite literally swoops in to save John and hits a demon with a Scooby Doo-like van before schooling the new “rookie” on how to vanquish all that goes bump in the night. 

Jensen Ackles, who is an executive producer on The Winchesters, promised the new show will be more inclusive than Supernatural in an interview with Variety

He said it “felt very natural” to include a non-binary character and that the show’s creators made it a mission to cast actors of different genders, ethnicities and sexualities.

“It felt very natural,” Jensen said. “Also, if you go back to that time period – you go back to the late 60s and early 70s, and that’s when things were really kind of shifting from a social perspective.”

He continued: “It just made sense that of course there would be some sort of a Hispanic hippie rolling into town and doing his thing or there was a book smart British woman of Indian culture.” 

Danneel Ackles, Jensen’s wife who is also a producer on the series, added life has “always been that way” and that there have “always been non-binary people”.

“So for us to include a non-binary character, that just makes sense because that is life,” she said.

“We’re in a space now where I feel like it is not only largely accepted, but it’s encouraged and I think that that’s fantastic,” Jensen said. “So we just took that as fuel and went with it. It was a very natural organic thing.”

Fleites told Forbes that they are “so proud of the inclusivity that’s involved” in The Winchesters as well as the “diversity” the new cast is bringing to the Supernatural universe. 

“And the space that I’ve been given as an LGBTQ identifying person on this show, not to mention also being non-binary,” Fleites added. 

The Winchesters premiered Tuesday (11 October) on The CW.