As yet unreleased Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman is receiving lots of online hate over the casting choice for Lucifer, Gwendoline Christie.
The Sandman follows Morpheus, the personification of dreams and nightmares. In the TV series, we follow his endeavours to reclaim his realm after being trapped on Earth. The Netflix show will premiere on August 5th, 2022.
Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer
Neil Gaiman is defending his creation once again as the choice to cast Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer on Netflix’s The Sandman receives plenty of online hate. A viral tweet labelled the actor’s casting as “#antisemetic” and “#sacreligious”, to which the award-winning author responded quickly. First pointing out the original power’s spelling mistakes, he stated that bitter and malicious criticism “won’t stop Sandman from coming out.”
Neil Gaiman went on to jokingly encourage people to boycott the Netflix Sandman series, saying that boycotts “brought us luck with Lucifer and Good Omens so I’d be grateful.” This is not the first time that Gaiman has used his smart wit to push back against backlash over Christie’s casting.
One commenter called the writer out directly, calling him a hypocrite as he has previously stated that he disliked when characters are changed in adaptations. Gaiman’s quick response was to ask the commenter, “How exactly has the character changed? Is it the penis? It’s okay. Lucifer in the comics didn’t have a penis, and I don’t believe Gwendoline Christie has one either.”
On the matter of her casting, Gwendoline Christie weighed in as well, explaining how the character isn’t gender-bent as fans are proclaiming. “Lucifer is a fallen angel and an angel doesn’t have gender at all. And I can play androgynous,” Christie said in an interview with Empire. “We know that from Game of Thrones due to the way I look. So I hope that has helped in the portrayal of the character.”
Other Controversial Castings
Other casting choices have also been the source of discontent on the Internet and Gaiman has been quick to discuss his distaste for the sexist and racist comments of critics. In a harshly worded tweet, Neil Gaiman said he did not care “about people who don’t understand/haven’t read Sandman whining about the non-binary Desire and that Death isn’t white enough.”
This tweet came as a response to plenty of internet hate around the fact that Desire is portrayed by Mason Alexander Park who is a non-binary actor, and Death is portrayed by Kirby Howell-Baptiste, a black woman.
Neil Gaiman responded to complaints that decry the show’s “woke” reputation and sensibilities, explaining that “Sandman went woke in 1988, and it hasn’t gone broke yet,” making it clear that instead of the series catching up with the times, times have finally caught up with his story’s progressive themes.
Although some may see their content as controversial, there is no denying that many critics and fans alike love the progressive nature of the comics as they have had numerous continuations and spinoffs, all of which have won multiple prestigious awards, including coveted awards such as several Eisner and Hugo Awards.
Are you for or against the progressive nature of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman?