‘The Sandman’ Creator Neil Gaiman Said ‘I Give Zero F**ks’ About Backlash to Netflix Show Casting
Neil Gaiman, the co-creator of the comic series The Sandman, is hitting back at critics unhappy with the casting of a black woman and a non-binary actor for roles in the upcoming Netflix adaptation based on the comics.
Online critics flooded social media after the announcement of some of the casting for the upcoming adaptation of the comic, with many claiming that the source material was being slighted with the casting of black actor Kirby Howell-Baptiste, hired to play Death, and nonbinary actor Mason Alexander Park, who is set to portray Desire, Entertainment Weekly reported.
Comic writer Gaiman, though, said he didn’t care who was upset and insisted that the casting didn’t violate the ideas behind the comic.
“I give all the fucks about the work,” Gaiman tweeted in response to the attacks. “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.”
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
The main complaint came from those who noted that Death is portrayed as a ghost-like, white character in the comic. Hiring a black woman, critics felt, was a politically correct choice. Others criticized the non-binary actor for similar reasons.
But the main characters of The Sandman are immortal spirits and appear in numerous forms. The complaints about the actors seem based on a lack of knowledge about the comic book.
In the books, Death is not a white man, as in a Caucasian person. Instead, Death is depicted as a ghost-like being with pure white skin. Furthermore, Death also appears in different guises in the pages of the book. For example, in one issue, Death appears as an Asian woman. Indeed, in another issue, Death appears in the guise of a black man.
As to the character Desire, the comics portray this character as having no gender. So, hiring an actor that claims to be non-binary is no slight to the source material, the producers say.
The main characters change as they meet different people from different cultures. For these reasons, Gaiman and the producers of the forthcoming Netflix project see no conflict at all with the casting.
In the end, Gaiman slammed critics of the casting, saying it was clear that none of them had ever read the comics.