Ever since Stan Lee tragically passed away earlier this week at the age of 95, the internet’s been flooded with tributes from fans, colleagues, admirers and more. Not a day’s gone by where we haven’t stumbled across a touching message from someone paying their respects and saying how much joy Stan brought to their life, while some companies have even gone so far as to take out a full-page ad in The Hollywood Reporter to show their appreciation.
But one person who doesn’t seem to care much for the legacy Stan Lee left behind is Bill Maher. The controversial television host/comedian hopped on his blog earlier this week and more or less disrespected the iconic comic book creator while also taking some shots at the industry as a whole.
“The guy who created Spider-Man and the Hulk has died, and America is in mourning,” wrote Maher. “Deep, deep mourning for a man who inspired millions to, I don’t know, watch a movie, I guess. Someone on Reddit posted, “I’m so incredibly grateful I lived in a world that included Stan Lee.” Personally, I’m grateful I lived in a world that included oxygen and trees, but to each his own. Now, 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. 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. “
That’s just one part of the post, and if you hadn’t already guessed, folks aren’t too happy about it. Stan Lee inspired and brought happiness to the lives of so many people around the world through his work and the characters he created, and for Maher to trash all that is completely uncalled for. As such, the fans have responded accordingly, slamming him for what he said.
Bill Maher dismisses Stan Lee, comic books and their relevance much the same way people dismissed Lenny Bruce and stand up comedy.
— Darick Robertson (@DarickR) November 17, 2018
I have no idea what Bill Maher said about Stan Lee.
Bill Maher is an unremarkable piece of shit.
That’s all there’s worth saying about Bill Maher.
— tom fowler (@tomfowlerbug) November 17, 2018
Maybe it’s because I’m English but seeing some stuff on line about a blog post from this Bill Maher bloke trashing comics and Stan Lee. So I’m just wondering, who the badgery-Christ is Bill Maher? Other than an arsehole, obviously.
— BRYAN HITCH (@THEBRYANHITCH) November 16, 2018
‘Nuff said. pic.twitter.com/FXXpvuzCyL
— Tom King (@TomKingTK) November 17, 2018
Bill Maher disrespected Stan Lee? Wow this totally changes my previously high opinion of that smug Islamophobic racist misogynistic attention-whore.
— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) November 17, 2018
Ok @billmaher why talk smack about Stan Lee? You had no problem taking that check and appearing in Iron Man 3. Just saying
— Kaya Jones (@KayaJones) November 17, 2018
Bill Maher is just upset because he knows deep down in his heart that when he dies there won’t be a fraction of the outpouring of love for him that there is for Stan Lee.
Or he’s just a condescending prick.
— Brian Huberd (@BrianHuberd) November 17, 2018
"Deep, deep mourning for a man who inspired millions to, I don't know, watch a movie I guess?"
That is such a gross understatement of the inspiration millions of people found from Stan Lee I wonder if Bill Maher was inspired by anything. https://t.co/4dgIRTShJS
— Tristan Oram (@TheRealTrustan) November 17, 2018
— Tony Larson (@tonylarson10) November 17, 2018
The fact that the only way Bill Maher can score heat anymore is saying Stan Lee is responsible for Donald Trump should inspire some introspection in that dude about how pathetic he is now. But if that was possible, he wouldn't be Bill Maher
— Nathan Bernhardt (@jonbernhardt) November 17, 2018
Stan Lee's work, his legacy, changed the goddamn world. And petulant Bill Maher had to insult that legacy for…. for what? For what purpose did that vile little man have to attack the life's work of an individual who brought nothing but joy, light, and understanding to millions?
— Jake Lee (@SuperJakePrime) November 17, 2018
The incredibly unfunny @billmaher thinks that comics are only for kids, Stan Lee isn't worth appreciating, and Trump could only get elected in a country that takes comics seriously. Fuck yourself silly, Maher. Rinse and repeat. https://t.co/CzF4bVzJiY
— Josh Crews (@JoshCrewsReally) November 16, 2018
Though a few people on Twitter have actually been defending Maher, or at least trying to play Devil’s Advocate, the general consensus seems to be that his blog post was completely ignorant and insensitive – and the internet is definitely letting him know that over on social media. Of course, that’s unlikely to change anything and it’s not as if we expect him to issue some sort of apology, but it’s still nice to see that folks aren’t holding back.
After all, whether you were a fan or not, no one can deny that Stan Lee left a profound mark on this world, and as long as new stories keep being told with his iconic characters, his legacy will continue to live on.