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The Sandman viewers are divided over JK Rowling reference in Netflix series
Featured Image Credit: Stills Press/Alamy/Netflix

The Sandman viewers are divided over JK Rowling reference in Netflix series

Shade or no shade?

The Sandman viewers have been left divided over a reference to JK Rowling in the Netflix series, with some wondering whether or not it was a dig. 

Since its release on 5 August, the fantasy drama based on Neil Gaiman’s DC comic series of the same has proved a hit with audiences worldwide. 

So it’s no surprise that when the streaming giant dropped two bonus episodes set in the show’s metaphysical universe on Friday, 19 August, The Sandman once again climbed the ranks in viewing figures. 

One particular moment that has fans talking is the reference to the Harry Potter author, which arrived in part two when a flashback scene set in August 2020 shows Richard Madoc (Arthur Davill) at his fictional book launch. 

Among the many guests discussing the writer’s success at the event, Richard’s agent Larry (Kevin Harvey) is seen describing how 'every major studio wants a piece of' his client.

When one asks who’s the frontrunner, Larry replies: "Whoever lets him write and direct." His friend then comments: "They won’t even let Jo Rowling write and direct," to which Larry says, "Jo Rowling needs a new agent, tell her to call me."

Arthur Davill as Richard Madoc.

Many have suggested the aside was a sly dig at Rowling, especially given that it’s set just a couple of months after the 57-year-old author attracted a lot of attention when she took issue with an article that said 'people who menstruate' in an attempt to make it as inclusive as possible.

Commenting on the headline, JK wrote: "'People who menstruate'. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

She followed this up by raising concerns that cisgendered women like her are starting to feel 'erased' from femininity due to the trans community.

Although she said that she 'respects every trans person's right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them', Rowling faced criticism from trans rights groups for her comments. 

After spotting the reference in The Sandman, Netflix viewers have flocked to Twitter to share their thoughts.

"OOOOOOH MY GOD THE DIG AT JK ROWLING, I'M HOWLING #TheSandman," wrote one, while another said, "Laughing at the shade to JK Rowling in #Sandman."

Others, however, weren’t convinced that the comment was a dig, and instead have suggested it portrayed Rowling in a positive light. 

"Lmao it doesn't at all. It mentions a writer everyone knows right now," wrote one, with another adding, "New Sandman episode passingly mentions J. K. Rowling in a positive light."

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected].

Topics: Netflix, Film and TV, JK Rowling