POW! Entertainment has now released a statement in response to Bill Maher’s comments about Stan Lee and the fans of comic books. The TV personality got slammed by fans after he attempted to invalidate Lee’s contribution to American culture and mocked all comic book readers who love superheroes.
Lee died aged 95 last week after suffering a series of health issues over the past one year which also forced him to stop attending public engagements. Ever since the legendary writer’s death, the whole entertainment industry and the geek community has been moribund over the loss of an iconic personality.
Maher was criticised by many fans for his insensitive comments and some didn’t even miss out to mention that Maher himself appeared in a cameo in Iron Man 3, although his part was ultimately deleted from the film. Here’s what POW! Entertainment had to say to Maher:
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 isn’t the only one to give away controversial comments. Armie Hammer also unnecessarily criticised those who posted pictures of themselves with Lee to commemorate them. Hammer stated that this is nothing but a way to self-promote themselves.
While Hammer apologised for his harsh statement, it’s doubtful Maher will ever do the same.