TV

Neil Gaiman Won't Read Your Fanfic, And He Has a Good Reason For It

Image credit: Legion-Media

It's so not as mean as it sounds.

Some creators are genuinely fond of fan works, be it art of fiction, and even actively engage with fans who create their own things based on the original product. However, Neil Gaiman, despite his love for communication with his fanbase, is not one of those authors.

Don't get him wrong, as his reason is pretty good. Back in 2021, Gaiman apparently received a lot of requests from fans to check out their fanfics based on Good Omens — Gaiman's story that made it to screens in an Amazon adaptation.

However, the author quickly made it clear that he not only was not going to read them, but even intended to block people who would continue to send him such materials.

"People, I'm showrunning and co-writing the Good Omens TV series. I can't legally read unsolicited plot ideas. Think of Netflix," Gaiman wrote in a lengthy Tumblr post.

He went on to explain that Netflix "does not accept unsolicited materials or ideas for Netflix content and is not responsible for the similarity of any of its content or programming in any media to materials or ideas transmitted to Netflix."

Basically, it means that the platform is doing its best to protect itself from accusations of stealing someone's idea, and people who keep bombarding Gaiman with their fanfiction are making the job harder.

Should the show somehow implement an idea that some fanfiction writer offered in their story, then there would be a possibility that the writer would try and accuse Netflix of stealing their idea — even though it could be a mere coincidence.

So Gaiman is not being mean when he urges you not to send him your fanfiction.

"It's nothing to do with not approving of what you do. It's about not putting me, the producers, the BBC or Prime Video at risk — or about having to throw away plans for the future because someone did that in fanfiction first," the author explained.

In fact, the similar explanation also works for The Sandman now that it is also adapted by Netflix and greenlit for another season. While no one can prohibit fans to share their theories, ideas and stories online, one is better off refraining from sending them directly to Gaiman as it might actually hurt the show.

Gaiman is exec producing The Sandman, with the first season is currently available for streaming on Netflix. The premiere date for the second season remains to be announced.

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