Like many celebrities and laypeople, Bill Maher took a moment this week to reflect on the life and legacy of Marvel comics mastermind Stan Lee—who died Monday at the age of 95. But unlike the bulk of those tributes, what Maher wrote wasnt particularly complimentary.
The late-night personality composed a dismissive blog post about Lee, the beloved co-creator of comic book characters including Spider-Man and the X-Men. Maher took offense at the huge outpouring of mourning over Lee, chiding grown-ups for celebrating the man: “I have nothing against comic books – I read them now and then when I was a kid and I was all out of Hardy Boys,” he wrote. “But the assumption everyone had back then, both the adults and the kids, was that comics were for kids, and when you grew up you moved on to big-boy books without the pictures.”
Maher went on to blame comic books for the dumbing-down of American culture, concluding that theyre somehow responsible for the election of Donald Trump: “I dont think its a huge stretch to suggest that Donald Trump could only get elected in a country that thinks comic books are important.” Maher failed to acknowledge the good work Lee did, including his advocacy for diverse characters in fiction and founding a foundation to expand access to literary resources.
Of course, Twitter and Stan Lee fans were none too happy about Mahers snide words.
Mahers comments came several days after Armie Hammer also came under fire for a Lee-related statement, irritatedly tweeting about celebrities posting pictures of themselves posing with Lee after his death. Hes since apologized for his comments, which drew criticism from all corners of the Internet—even The Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
Will Maher, too, post a retraction after being inundated with complaints? Probably not; after all, stirring the pot is an essential part of his brand, and he hardly seems likely to put down the wooden spoon now.
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