Neil Gaiman Gives ‘Zero F*cks’ About Complaints That ‘The Sandman’ Core Cast Includes Black And Non-Binary Actors

Neil Gaiman is known for giving a f*ck about the finer details that really matter, like what would happen if a werewolf bit a goldfish. When it comes to casting the long-awaited live-action adaptation of The Sandman (for a Netflix series), however, Gaiman is perfectly comfy with telling people to shove it over casting complaints. The recently revealed principal cast includes Patton Oswalt as Matthew the Raven (and Gaiman’s explanation for that decision is something that comic book fans will dig), along with several other revelatory names, as you can see below.

Jenna Coleman, David Thewlis, Stephen Fry, Patton Oswalt, Joely Richardson, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Mason Alexander Park, Donna Preston, Niamh Walsh, Kyo Ra, Razane Jammal, and Sandra James Young will co-star alongside Tom Sturridge and Gwendolyn Christie in The Sandman! pic.twitter.com/tlQ97I0xyS

— Netflix (@netflix) May 26, 2021

Of relevance here would be the casting of Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death and Mason Alexander Park as Desire. On social media, some people predictably (and sadly) freaked out because they can’t conceive of how Death, who is drawn in the comics as a pale, spiky-haired, ankh-sporting goth, will be portrayed by a Black actress. They also apparently take issue with Mason Alexander Park, who identifies as non-binary, playing Desire, a genderfluid character in the comics. Granted, Death is portrayed by Kat Graham in the Audible version of The Sandman, and she is so good in the role, but there’s no reason at all why Death — a member of the Endless, none of which have a specific race — can’t be portrayed by the actress who is best for the live-action portrayal.

As Gaiman previously wrote in a blog entry, “[W]e saw Kirby Howell-Baptiste’s (she/her) audition and we knew we had our Death.” And Gaiman is defending the casting of both Baptiste and Park while tweeting, “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.”

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

The author continued tweeting about how people who believe that the Endless “have any specific human race or form” probably didn’t read The Sandman too closely. Gaiman added, “I’m astonished to find that, for some people, what they thought she was, was a white woman, and just a white woman.” He finished with a reference to “shouty people” who “might not have read Sandman” at all.

If you think the Endless have any specific human race or form, you’ve missed something in Sandman. Don’t worry. Watch the show.

— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) May 26, 2021

I always thought that people loved Death for who she was. The person that I wrote. I’m astonished to find that, for some people, what they thought she was, was a white woman, and just a white woman.

— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) May 27, 2021

It’s the “Half of these people should be men” that is your clue that some of the shouty people might not have read Sandman. https://t.co/C3kGtL2qFD

— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) May 27, 2021

Previously, Netflix announced that Gwendoline Christie would rule Hell as Lucifer, and yet, no one seems to be complaining that Gwendolyn Christie’s portraying the same role that Michael Sheen embodied in the Audible version. Selective outrage is definitely a thing, man.