Why the Remake of The Stand is Offensive to Demon Kind
The new rendition of Stephen King’s treasured work The Stand has begun its run on CBS All Access. Three episodes have aired so far of the nine that were made, to mixed audience reception. Many viewers have complained about the non-linear timeline format, with some calling it confusing and others saying the show would be impossible to follow for those unfamiliar with the novel. Meanwhile, others have found different aspects of the show to protest, namely who was cast to play certain roles.
Leading the list of complaints is the fact that a hearing actor (Henry Zaga) was hired to play the part of Nick Andros, a character who is deaf-mute. Others have called for the show to be boycotted due to a non-disabled actor (Brad William Henke) portraying Tom Cullen, a big role of a man that is developmentally disabled within the context of the story, and whose disability comes to play a major part in the narrative later on. The crux of these complaints hinges on the lack of work for actors who have these disabilities that other actors only have to pretend to have.
Apparently there are literally multitudes of deaf-mute and developmentally disabled actors in theater troupes around the country whose agents work around the clock to get them roles, but they never get called in for auditions. And many of them look exactly like Henry Zaga and Brad Henke! And they’re just as talented too. That makes the unfairness of the situation stick out like a tricycle in a tuna net. M-O-O-N, that spells discrimination.
As valid as all these complaints are about the cast, when I was watching The Stand, I couldn’t help but notice yet another under-represented class of actor that for far too long has been ignored in Hollywood. That’s the community of demons and demon kind, an often utilized class of persons for the stereotypical roles of evil antagonists, especially in horror films, yet a group of people never actually seen on screen themselves. In the case of The Stand, this character is the notorious villain Randall Flagg, being played now by Alexander Skarsgard, who is simply another human being. Not an actual demon.
To gain further insight into why this character’s portrayal is so offensive, I contacted the head of demon representation himself, Lord Satan.
JS: Hello, Lord Satan. Thanks for agreeing to my interview. I hope I’m not keeping you from anything important today.
Satan: No, nothing too important today. I have to witness one of my crew putting hot coals up Jeffrey Epstein’s ass later this afternoon, but that’s just part of being the leader of Hell ya know. Besides, I enjoy it.
JS: Right, right. Well, let me get straight to the point. I heard you were very disappointed in the remake of The Stand. Wanna talk about why?
Satan: Alexander Skarsgard. The scruffy pompadoured motherfucker. He stole that role from one of my demons. Just like Jamey Sheridan did in 1994. It’s unacceptable, man. Just fucking offensive to tell the truth. We demons always get the shaft in the acting world.
JS: Yeah, I can see your frustration. But, surely you can understand their hesitation. I mean, how easy is it to contact a demon these days?
Satan: Very easy. Hell, we put one in the White House, didn’t we? How hard was it for you to contact me today? Contacting demons isn’t rocket science. You just draw a pentagram on the floor and drink some chicken blood. Easiest thing in the world. Heck, you can do it easier at a church if you know what’s up.
JS: Sure, sure. It’s easy. Okay, so let me ask another question. Why is the portrayal of demons in Hollywood so offensive to you? What do they get wrong?
Satan: Everything! They get everything wrong! It’s ridiculous.
JS: Such as?
Satan: It’s just the usual fucking stereotypes of demons. All we do is speak in tongues, possess people, and make them masturbate with crucifixes and shit. Oh, and our eyes get all fucked up or turn black. And did you know we can talk to crows and rats and wolves and shit? It’s just all so offensive. I mean, why would any self-respecting demon ever go on a killing spree? Their job is to turn humans away from God, not give them a free pass to heaven. For crying out loud. What a joke! Demons are people too. There’s more to us than just black magic and murder, so much more.
JS: I see your point. But really, how many demon actors are there?
Satan: Plenty. I hear Kevin Spacey needs work. People used to love him.
Satan: Too soon? Okay, well he’s not the only option. We got our own union you know. It’s called The Omen, because most the actors have been involved in remakes and sequels of The Omen. Pretty cool.
JS: I see. Well, let’s hope Hollywood figures it out soon, and stops promoting these harmful stereotypes of demon kind.
Satan: Amen. If they don’t I have a special place saved for them in hell, right next to Harvey Weinstein, whenever his ticker finally gives out.
That concludes the interview. As you can see, demons are rightly pissed. If you’re interested in finding out why, The Stand airs every Thursday for the next six weeks on CBS All Access. Unfortunately, every actor in the production is a human being. Not one of them has magic powers. Maybe some day Hollywood can stop discriminating against the supernatural. But until that day comes, it is important to keep calling out this lack of representation.