The reason? Gaiman has debated with hundreds of fans enraged by Netflix’s casting decisions for the future Sandman-based series. The comic, turned into a cult object for popular culture, is one of the most anticipated projects of the platform.
Many of the fans who eagerly await its premiere complained via social networks about the choice of the future cast. The cast, which includes Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death and Mason Alexander Park as Desire provoked a controversial snapshot.
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
Both are the characters most loved by the fandom, and also those who have starred in several of the most remembered plot lines. As if that wasn’t enough, the casting choice joins the rumors that the adaptation will be taken. considerable freedoms compared to the original. Overall, the news ended up becoming a moderate scandal on social networks and specialized forums.
Emphasis has been placed on the choice of Howell-Baptiste – a black actress – for a character who in the comic is depicted as a white woman. Desire being played by a non-binary actor was also debated. In the end, Gaiman was even accused of not defend the original work of the “inclusive” or “forced representation changes in the future program”.
Neil Gaiman’s reaction could not have been more irate, and indeed has surprised his most loyal fans. “I don’t give a damn“Wrote the writer on his official Twitter account. “I spent 30 years successfully fighting bad Sandman movies. I don’t give a damn about people who don’t understand or haven’t read Sandman complaining about a non-binary Desire or that Desire is not white enough, “he wrote in a succession of tweets. The writer made clear his discomfort at the criticism and at what that he considers little respect for a broad mythology based on long years of work.
‘Sandman’: an old controversy on doors
Sandman has become one of the most popular comics of all time. Posted by Vertigo from DC comics, it’s a founding work of the publisher and the world of graphic novels. Neil Gaiman and Sam Kieth created a universe of rich mythology that also expanded into independent volumes.
As if that wasn’t enough, the work features illustrators including Colleen Doran, Mike Dringenberg, Marc Hempel, Kelley Jones, Jill Thompson, Yoshitaka Amano, and Michael Zulli. Published in 75 volumes from 1989 to 1996, it is a brilliant look at a series of characters and legends of mythological origin. At present it is considered a classic in the world of comics and also one of the so-called “Unadaptable works” by Gaiman.
However, after years of trying, several failed projects, and a dozen scrapped scripts, Netflix managed to convince to Neil Gaiman of adaptation. Without a doubt, the definitive push came from the success of the series American Gods (other more recognized by the writer) and Good Omens. Both productions became audience and critical successes, making it clear that Gaiman’s work was adaptable despite its complexity.
An inevitable discussion
In recent days, the controversy escalated amid accusations of racism and prejudice. Neil Gaiman has responded to a considerable number of Tweets making clear his support for Netflix’s decisions about the cast. In fact, it has been possible to read the writer responding to specific messages with discriminatory content.
A few days ago, already the question of whether Desire was non-binary in the original material, the writer has answered directly. “Okay, yes. But you would have to have read the comics to know that. And yelling people seem to have skipped that step. “
The writer also retweeted a reader’s response, recounting how important the choice of a non-binary character was to Desire. “Desire in Sandman was really the first time that I encountered in fiction the idea that a person is not binary. It helped me when reality presented me with non-binary people, some of whom I now know and love. “
Neil Gaiman accused critics of misinterpreting or not knowing the source material. For the writer it is a “evolution” of the work to reach a different medium and asked to “see the series” before issuing opinions.
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