Movies & TV

Hail Satan: Neil Gaiman Thanks Conservative Activists For Boycotting Lucifer and Making It Even More Popular

The devil works hard, but Neil Gaiman works harder. 
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As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad PR. Notoriety has a way of making something even more coveted, which makes for great ratings. That’s why Sandman comics creator Neil Gaiman has nothing to say but “thank you” to the thousands of conservative Christian activists who tried to boycott the hit Netflix series Lucifer. It was the evidence he needed to convince himself that its upcoming spin-off show The Sandman would do just as well. 

”I would just like to formally thank the [One Million Moms] for their attempts to ban Lucifer before it came out," Gaiman wrote on Twitter. "Their boycott was the thing that signaled that Sandman had arrived as a comic, and I knew it boded well for our TV spin-off." 

Lucifer, which was ranked the most-streamed series in the U.S. in 2021, was based on Gaiman’s Sandman comics, focusing on the title character himself. The devil works hard, but Neil Gaiman works harder because the 93-episode series Lucifer raked in 18.3 billion streaming minutes on Netflix. Lucifer originally premiered on Fox television channel, but after three seasons, the network canceled the television show. Netflix picked it up and continued its production for three more seasons before Lucifer concluded its sixth season in late 2021. 

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Since its series premiere, Lucifer has been hounded by boycotts, particularly by One Million Moms, a fundamentalist Christian activist organization that claimed Lucifer was “glorifying Satan as a caring, likable person in human flesh” and “disrespecting Christianity and mocking the Bible.” 

Clearly, they weren’t happy to see the devil on television. One can only wonder how they reacted when the show’s character God appeared—with his wife. We can hear the devil laughing all the way from here. 

Of course, Gaiman is no stranger to angry boycotts by angry American Christians. Back in 1991, when Gaiman’s comics first launched, another group of conservatives tried to boycott Sandman for having LGBT characters. Two television shows later, it’s safe to say that didn’t work.

Lucifer Morningstar was played by Tom Ellis for six seasons, but he will not be reprising his role in the spin-off—if it can be called that. The upcoming Netflix show The Sandman will follow the story of Morpheus/Dream, the Sandman himself, who will be played by Tom Sturridge. Meanwhile, Gwendoline Christie will play Lucifer in the show. Both Lucifer and The Sandman are based on Gaiman’s Sandman comics, but the shows will exist separately and will not crossover to save audiences from the confusion of another multiverse.  

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Anri Ichimura
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