The Sandman creator Neil Gaiman has slammed viewers who have criticised the show’s diverse cast and characters. 

Back in August, the fantasy drama premiered on the popular streamer to critical acclaim.

Based on Gaiman’s comic of the same name, the series follows Morpheus (Tom Sturridge), one of the seven Endless and the personification of dreams.

After being released from a 106-year-long imprisonment, Morpheus sets out on a tumultuous adventure to rebuild his realm, The Dreaming, and figure out who was responsible for his capture.

While the show has been praised for accurately adapting the comic book, fans have also lauded the series for its inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters – including Desire (Mason Alexander Park), Johanna Constantine (Jenna Coleman) and Alex Burgess (Laurie Kynaston).

However despite the series earning critical acclaim, Gaiman has been inundated with hateful comments from conservative viewers. 

In a recent interview with Inverse, the acclaimed writer opened up about the pushback he’s received for The Sandman’s LGBTQ+ representation and POC characters. 

“Occasionally, we’d get people shouting at us for having made up all of these gay characters who weren’t in the comics, and then we’d go, ‘Have you read the comics? And they’d go, ‘No,'” he told the publication. 

“We’d go, ‘They were gay in the comics.’ And they’d go, ‘You’re just woke, and nobody is going to watch your horrible show!’ And then we went number one in the world for four weeks.” 

Gaiman went on to describe the outrage as “weird silliness” before calling out the trolls for their homophobic, racist and anti-women behaviour. 

“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,” he said. 

This isn’t the first time the acclaimed novelist has expertly shut down The Sandman haters. 

Back in 2021, Gaiman defended the casting of Park – who identifies as non-binary – and Black actress Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Death) after “fans” complained that the show was pushing an “agenda.”

“I give all the f*cks about the work. I spent 30 years successfully battling bad movies of Sandman,” he wrote on Twitter.

“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 shows, make up your minds.”

Fortunately for real fans of The Sandman, the series was recently renewed for a second season.   

“There are some astonishing stories waiting for Morpheus and the rest of them (not to mention more members of the Endless Family to meet). Nobody is going to be happier about this than the Sandman cast and crew: they are the biggest Sandman fans there are,” Gaiman said (via Variety).

The first season of The Sandman is now available to stream worldwide on Netflix.