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Neil Gaiman Defends Casting of Nonbinary Actor in Netflix's Sandman

Neil Gaiman Defends Casting of Nonbinary Actor in Netflix's 'Sandman'

Neil Gaiman Defends Casting of Nonbinary Actor in Netflix's 'Sandman'

Mason Alexander Park landed the role as Desire, but not everyone is pleased. 

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It's official! Netflix is adapting Neil Gaiman's beloved graphic novel series Sandman and has already begun the production process. But while Gaiman celebrates the newly announced castings online, many "fans" are complaining about the "accuracy" of the graphic-novel-to-TV adaption. 

Kirby Howell-Baptiste, an actor known for her roles on The Good Place and Barry, has landed the role of Death in the series even though the character is depicted as white in the graphic novel. Her casting was "significantly harder to cast than you might imagine," Gaiman wrote on his blog. "Hundreds of talented women from all around the planet auditioned, and they were brilliant, and none of them were right. Someone who could speak the truth to Dream, on the one hand, but also be the person you’d want to meet when your life was done on the other. And then we saw Kirby Howell-Baptiste’s (she/her) audition and we knew we had our Death."

Nonbinary actor Mason Alexander Park landed the role of Desire, a non-binary character from the original story. However, some "fans" seem to have forgotten that when they began complaining online.

"The f*ck is this?" one user wrote. "Half of these people should be men, the pronouns are unnecessary and I can already sense the shit of agenda pushing." Other commentators accused Gaiman of selling out, "rewriting the whole thing to appeal to modern audiences," and not giving a f*ck about his original material.

"I give all the f*cks about the work," Gaiman clapped back. "I spent 30 years successfully battling bad movies of Sandman. I give zero f*cks 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."

Those complaining about Desire are especially misguided since they are nonbinary in the original as well. "But you’d have to have read the comics to know that. And the shouty people appear to have skipped that step.”

On a positive note, Gaiman shared one fan’s heartfelt response to Park’s casting. “Desire in ‘Sandman’ was really the first time I encountered in fiction the idea of a person being non-binary. It helped me when reality presented me with out non-binary people, some of whom I now know and love. I can’t imagine reading ‘Sandman’ and desiring Desire as anything other.”

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Taylor Henderson

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one! 

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one!