NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 22: Author Neil Gaiman arrives to discuss his new series “The Sandman” at 92nd Street Y on August 22, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Paula Lobo#1044029#51C ED/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Neil Gaiman Says The Sandman Casting Backlash Came From People That Never Read The Comics
Neil Gaiman has been effortlessly dunking on bigoted trolls on Twitter over the past few months, as they complain about the "wokeness" of "The Sandman" Season 1. In an interview with Inverse, Gaiman has made it clear that he doesn't consider these people to be real fans of the source material at all.
Gaiman dismissed the controversy surrounding the casting of Black actress Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death — a role often portrayed by a white woman — as true fans know the Endless change appearance depending on who they’re talking to. "The ability to give us the great personality was important," he tweeted. "The skin [color] of the actresses auditioning for the role was not."
Another complaint was that of Lucifer (Gwendoline Christie), a traditionally male character now presented as a woman. The fans bashing this decision weren’t really Sandman fans either, according to Gaiman, because "they'd know that Lucifer looked kind of like an androgynous David Bowie and doesn't have any genitalia because they're an angel."
Johanna Constantine
Casting Jenna Coleman as Johanna Constantine, replacing John Constantine, received backlash. The show was accused of needlessly changing the gender of the character for "woke" reasons, but Gaiman explained: "She was a character introduced in Sandman No. 13 in 1989 and [...] she goes off and has several more adventures in the Sandman storyline."
Queer Characters
Gaiman didn’t tolerate the whining about all the queer characters in the show, as the characters have always been queer throughout the comics. The Netflix series is more explicitly queer than the original comics and reflects how popular "The Sandman" comics are with queer readers — so the show leans into that.