Before Netflix‘s ambitious adaptation of The Sandman there was, as there usually is these days, a bizarre controversy brewing before they’d even shot an episode. The casting of a handful of roles, Kirby Howell-Baptise as Death, Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer, and Jenna Coleman as Lady Johanna Constantine, was largely met with enthusiasm by many fans of the source material, but was seen as, what else, “woke” casting by certain sects of the online community. Speaking in a new interview with Inverse, Gaiman was asked about these non-troversies that erupted on the internet, downplaying their effect on anything surrounding the show and even roasting the people that tried to create strife anyway.
“The truth is nothing much has been very controversial,” Gaiman said. “So the people that were getting all upset that this, when you talked to them, they weren’t Sandman fans…Occasionally, you get people shouting at us for having made up all of these gay characters who weren’t in the comics, and then we’d go ‘Have you read the comics?’ And they’d go ‘No.’ And we’d go, ‘They were gay in the comics.’ And they’d go ‘You’re just woke and nobody is going to watch your horrible show.’ And then we went Number 1 in the world for four weeks. And they went ‘It’s all bots! We hate you. You’re woke.'”
He continued, “It’s a weird silliness. These complainers don’t like gay people, they don’t like Black people, and they don’t like women. And if you look at their profiles, they don’t like vaccines, they don’t like Democrats, and they’re not big on voting.”
Gaiman went on to make specific points about the three “controversial casting changes,” pointing out how the online outrage amounted to nothing, specifically how the likes of Johanna Constantine wasn’t a gender swap of John but someone from the source material.
He also noted how there was some grumbles from fans of the Lucifer TV series that Tom Ellis wasn’t playing Lucifer in Sandman. Though the hit TV show was based on the comic series that was a spinoff from Sandman, the version of the character that Ellis embodied for six seasons doesn’t fit in the ton of The Sandman. Gaiman adds: “He’s a lovable rogue. He wouldn’t work in Sandman because we have to get someone that makes people scared.”
Much to the chagrin to those participating in the weird silliness, The Sandman has been renewed for season two on Netflix, with much of the cast seemingly set to return.
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