Neil Gaiman is shutting down toxic fans who are up in arms over the casting of non-binary and Black actors in roles in the upcoming Netflix adaptation of “The Sandman”. Netflix recently announced additional cast members who joined the ensemble for the comic book adaptation, including Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death and Mason Alexander Park as Desire.
On Twitter, some trolls took issue with the casting of Black actress Howell-Baptiste because Death is depicted as white in the comics, while others had issues with the casting of Park, a non-binary actor, even though Desire is written as non-binary in the source material. When one fan suggested Gaiman “doesn’t give a f***” about standing up for his original work, accusing him of “selling out”, Gaiman defended the casting, noting the opposite is true.
“I give all the f**ks about the work,” he Tweeted in response, adding he “spent 30 years successfully battling bad movies of ‘Sandman’.”
“I give zero f**ks” about people who don’t understand/haven’t read ‘Sandman’ whining about non-binary Desire or that Death isn’t white enough,” he adds, encouraging viewers to watch the series and make up their own minds.
I give all the fucks about the work. I spent 30 years successfully battling bad movies of Sandman.
I give zero fucks about people who don't understand/ haven't read Sandman whining about a non-binary Desire or that Death isn't white enough. Watch the show, make up your minds. https://t.co/KcNzap8Kt4
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) May 29, 2021
Gaiman hit back at complaints from people about the non-binary casting of Desire, writing, “you’d have to have read the comics to know that. And the shouty people appear to have skipped that step.” The author previously spoke about Park’s casting, writing, “We had barely started looking when (they/them) reached out on Twitter, and threw their hat into the ring. We were thrilled when they got the part.”
While Gaiman battled with trolls, still plenty more Twitter users applauded the casting, including one who cited the non-binary Desire in the comics as the first non-binary character he had encountered in fiction writing. “It helped me when reality presented me with out non-binary people, some of whom I now know and love. I can’t imagine reading ‘Sandman’ and desiring Desire as anything other,” he shared.
Desire in Sandman was really the first time I encountered in fiction the idea of a person being non-binary. It helped me when reality presented me with out non-binary people, some of whom I now know and love. I can't imagine reading Sandman and desiring Desire as anything other. https://t.co/givl6XCgI9
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) May 29, 2021
Netflix’s official synopsis for “The Sandman” reads: “A rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy in which contemporary fiction, historical drama, and legend are seamlessly interwoven, ‘The Sandman’ follows the people and places affected by Morpheus, the Dream King, as he mends the cosmic — and human — mistakes he’s made during his vast existence.”
Other actors in the ensemble include Gwendoline Christie, Patton Oswalt, Tom Sturridge and David Thewlis.
Jenna Coleman, David Thewlis, Stephen Fry, Patton Oswalt, Joely Richardson, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Mason Alexander Park, Donna Preston, Niamh Walsh, Kyo Ra, Razane Jammal, and Sandra James Young will co-star alongside Tom Sturridge and Gwendolyn Christie in The Sandman! pic.twitter.com/tlQ97I0xyS
— Netflix (@netflix) May 26, 2021