Over the weekend, Bill Maher shared his thoughts on the passing of Stan Lee in a controversial blog post. Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment has released in open letter in response to Maher, which calls some of his comments "disgusting." Maher ripped into adults who still read comic books and blamed comic book fans for Donald Trump becoming President of the United States. Additionally, he stated that Lee was "a man who inspired millions to, I don't know, watch a movie, I guess."
POW! Entertainment's open letter to Bill Maher is written in a respectful manner. The first portion of the letter addresses Maher's claims that comic books should only be for children. This remark was also something that fans tore the comedian up for on social media. The letter had this to say.
"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."
Throughout time, there have been different shifts in literature and what is considered to be for children or adults, which POW! Entertainment laid out nicely. However, they took a real issue about Bill Maher's remarks on what Stan Lee's legacy is. Even while being angry with what Maher said, the open letter to the comedian stays civil. You can read the next portion below.
"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."
POW! Entertainment's letter on behalf of Stan Lee is much more cordial than the attacks that Bill Maher has been receiving online from not just Marvel fans, but fans of all comic books. The final portion of the open letter to Bill Maher encourages the comedian to do something good with his platform, instead of further separating the population. The final portion of the letter explains.
"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!"
Stan Lee would undoubtedly be proud of what POW! Entertainment has said on his behalf. It's obvious that the comic book legend did a lot more for the world than just inspire someone to go "watch a movie." It's something that has become a lot clearer over the years with comic book movies and culture becoming a part of the mainstream conversation. While some side with Bill Maher, there are many more who disagree. The open letter to Bill Maher was first published at the official Stan Lee website.