The Sandman creator Neil Gaiman has defended his casting of Black and non-binary performers in the upcoming Netflix production of the comic book series.
Gaiman, 60, took to Twitter Friday amid criticism from fans who were upset about the castings of Kirby Howell-Baptiste and Mason Alexander as Death and Desire, respectively. In the comic, Death appears to be a white character, while Desire is non-binary.
One fan wrote to the U.K. native, ‘Why sell out? Just stand by your work or do you lack the intestinal fortitude?’ adding that it appeared he didn’t ‘give a f***’ about the work.’
The latest: Sandman creator Neil Gaiman, 60, has defended his casting of Black and non-binary performers in the upcoming Netflix production of the comic book series.
The English author defended his artistic integrity, responding, ‘I give all the f***s about the work’ and that he ‘spent 30 years successfully battling bad movies of Sandman.’
He added: ‘I give zero f***s 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.’
Another criticized casting Kirby Howell-Baptiste saying that ‘this casting smacks of checking of a box’ and that ‘making Death Black just to make her Black is beyond contemptuous.’
Gaiman said that Howell-Baptiste’s personality encompassing the character was why she got the tole.
Kirby Howell-Baptiste plays the character of Death in the Netlix production
Mason Alexander, who is non-binary, portrays Desire in the production
The ability to give us the great personality was important,’ he said. ‘The skin color of the actresses auditioning for the role was not.’
He added that ‘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.’
The author took to Twitter to defend his art and the casting decisions