Stan Lee’s production company has responded to Bill Maher’s comments that derided the comic book icon’s legacy as having simply “inspired millions to, I don’t know, watch a movie”.
The co-creator of Marvel Comics died aged 95 on November 12.
Six days later, Maher – the host of HBO’s ‘Real Time’ – posted a short blog post titled ‘Adulting‘ dismissing the global response to the star’s recent death. His words were immediately attacked by fans for suggesting the limited reach of comic books and a bizarre link to the election of Donald Trump.
Stan Lee’s production company POW! Entertainment issued a statement today (November 19) in response to Maher’s comments.
The open letter slams the presenter’s post as “frankly disgusting”.
It continues: “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.”
The statement ends with advice for Maher, pulling on that iconic Spider-Man phrase “With great power there must also come — great responsibility!”. You can read the full statement below.
It was confirmed on Friday (November 16) that a public memorial will be held to allow Marvel devotees to pay their respects. POW! Entertainment explained that they are working on “a tribute befitting the greatest creator of our time and the father of modern pop culture”.
The full statement from POW! Entertainment
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!”