If you weren’t already in the know, Bill Maher made some less-than-flattering comments about the legacy of Stan Lee recently. He flippantly claimed that fans were in “deep, deep mourning for a man who inspired millions to, I don’t know, watch a movie, I guess” and criticized modern-day adults for liking comic books. Growing up, Maher always saw comics as a purely children’s medium and he expressed this clearly in his blog post.
Now, POW! Entertainment, a media production company Lee co-founded in 2001, have responded to Maher’s Stan Lee post. Understandably, they are not happy with the TV host’s comments. They recently released a passionately-worded statement to counter him on the Stan Lee website:
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!”
Wow, that’s quite a statement – and likely one Stan Lee himself would agree with if he were here today.
Do you agree with Maher’s comments? Or are you on the side of POW!? Let us know in the comments below.