The Sandman: Neil Gaiman defends casting of non-binary and Black actors in Netflix adaptation

‘I give zero f***s about people who don’t understand/haven’t read Sandman whining about a non-binary Desire or that Death isn’t white enough’

Louis Chilton
Wednesday 02 June 2021 08:49 BST
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Neil Gaiman has spoken out in defence of the casting for the forthcoming Netflix adaptation of his acclaimed comic book series The Sandman.

It was announced last week that the non-binary character Desire would be played by non-binary actor Mason Alexander Park, and Death, who is drawn as white-skinned in the comics, will be played by The Good Place star Kirby Howell-Baptiste, who is Black.

After one Twitter user wrote that Gaiman didn’t “give a f***”, the writer tweeted back a blistering response.

“I give all the f***s about the work,” he wrote. “I spent 30 years successfully battling bad movies of Sandman. I give zero f***s 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,” he added.

Another fan tweeted at Gaiman asking: “Wasn’t Desire… always non-binary…??”

The author replied, “Well, yes. But you’d have to have read the comics to know that. And the shouty people appear to have skipped that step.”

The Sandman ran from January 1989 to March 1996, and was originally created by Gaiman alongside artists Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg.

Netflix’s adaptation features a cast which includes Gwendoline Christie and Tom Sturridge.

The adaptation, hitherto said to be “unfilmable”, is currently in production with no release date yet announced.

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