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Neil Gaiman Was Never Worried About Casting Backlash Among Sandman Fans

Somebody is bound to complain whenever someone takes a written work and adapts it for a live-action movie or TV show. The complaints so far have been few and far between with Neil Gaiman's "The Sandman" on Netflix, though. It has a solid 7.7/10 on IMDb, an 80% approval rating from audiences, and an 86% approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. It's also in an elite club of Netflix shows that have managed to gain the #1 spot back after viewership dipped for a bit (via Forbes), which puts it in good company with successful series like "Stranger Things" and "Virgin River."

That's not to say there haven't been any complaints at all — it's just that Gaiman and the throngs of "The Sandman" fans who love the series so far aren't listening. But there's a good reason for that. As far as casting is concerned, Gaiman hasn't been making those decisions willy-nilly. There's a method to his madness that dovetails perfectly with the spirit of the original books. He knows that there are certain types of "The Sandman" fans who understand this — and certain types of "fans" who don't.

Gaiman knows his own work well enough to know that genuine Sandman fans would understand his choices

Gaiman recently sat down to do an interview with Inverse, and he did not mince words regarding how he felt about his haters. So far, Gaiman has been accused of ruining the show via his casting choices by gender-swapping certain characters, making up "gay characters who weren't in the comics," and for generally being too "woke." Naturally — as with anyone who's achieved a generous amount of success amidst criticism — his favorite rebuttal is to point out that the show debuted at #1 on Netflix and stayed there for four weeks straight.

Gaiman has noticed a recurring theme with people who are critical of his casting choices: they haven't yet read the books. "Occasionally, you get people shouting at us...and then we'd go, 'Have you read the comics?' And they'd go 'No.'" People who are hurling vitriolic criticism on social media have a few other unsavory things in common, too. As Gaiman himself put it, "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."

For now, it seems their complaints will continue to fall on deaf ears. After all, if fans who have read the books are happy enough with the series to keep it at or around the #1 spot, why should he do anything differently? The only thing Gaiman needs to worry about is keeping production costs low enough so that a second season is affordable enough for Netflix to produce.