POW! Entertainment releases a statement responding to Bill Maher's insulting comments about Stan Lee, his legacy, and fans of the comic book world he helped create. The controversial TV personality shared his two cents on the passing of Lee last week, but instead of sending a message of love and support, Maher attempted to invalidate the comic book writer's contribution to American culture, and mocked people who continue to love and care about superhero stories.
Lee died at the age of 95 last Monday after suffering a series of health issues over the last year that forced him to start skipping public engagements. Since then, the geek community and the entertainment industry in general have been in mourning over the loss of one of the pioneers of the comic book landscape. Lee's peers and fans all over the world have paid their respects to the legend in their own ways. Then enter Maher, who couldn't have picked a worse time to mock the community.
Maher quickly drew huge backlash, with countless fans and public figures chastising him for his insensitive comments. Some didn't miss the opportunity to point out that he agreed to do a brief cameo in Iron Man 3 (based on one of the characters Lee created), although his bit was ultimately deleted from the final cut of the film. Now, POW! Entertainment officially responds to Maher's "disgusting" sentiments. Read the company's full letter below:
Mr. Maher: Comic books, like all literature, are storytelling devices. When written well by great creators such as Stan Lee, they make us feel, make us think and teach us lessons that hopefully make us better human beings. One lesson Stan taught so many of us was tolerance and respect, and thanks to that message, we are grateful that we can say you have a right to your opinion that comics are childish and unsophisticated. Many said the same about Dickens, Steinbeck, Melville and even Shakespeare.
But to say that Stan merely inspired people to “watch a movie” is in our opinion frankly disgusting. Countless people can attest to how Stan inspired them to read, taught them that the world is not made up of absolutes, that heroes can have flaws and even villains can show humanity within their souls. He gave us the X-Men, Black Panther, Spider-Man and many other heroes and stories that offered hope to those who felt different and bullied while inspiring countless to be creative and dream of great things to come.
These are but a few of the things we the fans of Stan Lee also consider “adulting,” because life both as a child and grown-up can indeed be a struggle. Stan is the author of millions of happy childhood memories and the provider of so many of the positive tools of adulthood.
Our shock at your comments makes us want to say “‘Nuff said, Bill,” but instead we will rely on another of Stan’s lessons to remind you that you have a powerful platform, so please remember: “With great power there must also come — great responsibility!”
Maher's controversy isn't the first one to come out in light of Lee's passing. Call Me By Your Name star Armie Hammer found himself in hot water after he unnecessarily criticized those who posted photos of themselves with the late legend on social media to commemorate him. According to the actor, it's nothing but a way to self-promote. Hammer already apologized for his comments, but it's doubtful Maher will follow suit, as he's long made a habit of courting controversy.
POW! Entertainment is currently busy continuing to pay respect to Stan Lee. Aside from managing a virtual wall where fans can post their messages and tributes, the company also said that they're planning a public memorial for the prolific writer and creator. Here's hoping Maher won't feel the need to weigh in on that too, and can instead decide to let those missing Lee grieve in peace this time. He's entitled to his opinion, but there are better uses of his platform than denigrating others.
Source: POW! Entertainment