Update: Stan Lee has since posted the following message and video on his Twitter account, which would seem to indicate that he is in control of the account, and thus the "fake news" related tweet was in fact his actual sentiments. The article below has been left as it was originally published.
Thanks to my friend @Jack who created Twitter, I am only on Twitter. No other social media. The rest like Facebook are hacked and people impersonating me. But I love Twitter. pic.twitter.com/zCZ0Pa4hxY— stan lee (@TheRealStanLee) May 27, 2018
Stan Lee has taken to social media to call for "fake news" outlets to be held accountable for their actions, something that has caught the eye of the industry's press.
The last few years have seen the issue of "fake news" become one of pressing social importance worldwide. In the United States, Elon Musk has recently announced plans to create a website called "Pravda" that allows the public to rate the "core truth" of articles and publications. This, in theory, would help people differentiate between real and "fake" news out there, and it would give visitors to the site an idea of how accurate different news sites are.
Elon Musk's idea has received its fair share of detractors and supporters over the last few days - and it looks like he just gained an unexpected supporter in Marvel's Stan Lee, who himself has battled against negative media coverage in recent months. A post on Lee's Twitter account reads:
I agree with @elonmusk that the media should be held accountable to tell the truth. Many reporters are honost but Fake news outlets like Hollywood Reporter should not be spreading lies. Go Elon!— stan lee (@TheRealStanLee) May 27, 2018
In June 2017, Lee's wife Joanie sadly passed away at the age of 93, after 70 years of marriage. From December last year, reports began to circulate online that suggested the death of Joanie Lee had left Stan extremely vulnerable and that those around him had taken advantage. Matters came to a head in April this year, when The Hollywood Reporter published an article entitled "Stan Lee Needs a Hero: Elder Abuse Claims and a Battle Over the Aging Marvel Creator." A visibly upset Lee responded in a video post, insisting that these accounts were false. He went as far as to threaten legal action against any outlet that covered the report. Given this context, it's hardly surprising Lee has now gone a step further.
But it's important not to take this tweet at face value. For one thing, Lee recently revealed his Facebook account had been hacked and is not under his control; it's not inconceivable that he could lose control of his Twitter account as well. More significantly, though, Lee may not be the only one to have access to this account in any case. A tweet published earlier this month claimed Lee had taken over this Twitter account for the first time; "Today was the first day I ever did a tweet myself. Before today, my account was done by others." That doesn't necessarily mean that Lee is the only person to use the account, though, as many of the tweets still have a typical PR spin to them. It could well be that Lee's handlers - the targets of the accusations from sites like The Hollywood Reporter - are themselves able to post to Lee's social media. All that means this latest comment should be read with a degree of caution.
Whatever the truth may be, it's impossible not to be saddened at the intense controversy surrounding Lee's personal life at the moment. Lee spent much of his life pushing for Marvel's comic book characters to hit the big screen. And now, with Marvel Studios as one of the world's biggest cinematic brands, this really ought to be a time of celebration for the creator rather than one of heartbreak and tension.
Source: Stan Lee