Following the sad news that Stan Lee passed away yesterday at the age of 95, social media has been awash with fans of his work paying their respects to him. For those lucky enough to have met the Marvel legend at comic cons or for comic book creators or movie stars who worked with him, a lot of folks have been sharing their photos with Lee to commemorate how much he meant to them. Or at least, that’s how most of us see it. Actor Armie Hammer (Call Me By Your Name) sees it a different way, though.
Hammer took to Twitter yesterday to leave a sarcastic message that criticized how people, specifically celebrities, were posting pictures of themselves with Lee to remember him instead of talking about the man himself. “So touched by all of the celebrities posting pictures of themselves with Stan Lee,” Hammer wrote. “No better way to commemorate an absolute legend than putting up a picture of yourself.”
Now, clearly a lot of Twitter users agree with Hammer’s assessment, as a whopping 30,000 people liked his tweet before it was deleted. And he does have a point about the wider selfie culture being somewhat harmful. For instance, when one fan wrote back to him, it sort of proved his point.
If your answer is “post a selfie” then I think we need a cultural revamp across the board.
— Armie Hammer (@armiehammer) November 12, 2018
However, his message also came under a lot of fire from those who felt Hammer was grossly misjudging the situation. Many folks who’d posted pictures with Lee like the actor said pointed out that they were just mourning the loss of someone who had such an impact on their lives and they felt honored to have met him.
I'm not a 'celebrity,' but here's a picture commemorating an absolute legend, with me in it.
I felt really cool taking a picture with him. pic.twitter.com/AhluYHOVia
— Eddie McClintock (@EddieMcClintock) November 13, 2018
It’s weird because that’s what all the fans who ever met him at cons have been doing too, Armie. It’s almost like remembering a moment that they spent with someone who is now no longer with us gives people a small measure of comfort in their sadness. Assholes.
— Chris Evans' Beard (@EvansBeard) November 13, 2018
I'm a fan of yours, but this comment is incredibly glib and disappointing. People are sharing memories. For some of them, those pictures represent hugely significant moments, ones of joy and acceptance that were gifted to them by Mr. Lee.
— Valerie Ettenhofer (@aandeandval) November 13, 2018
Finally, the worst telling-off Hammer got for his remarks came from none other than Negan himself, The Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The actor was not at all impressed with Hammer in this instance and told him so very clearly. “Looks like you found a way to use others ways of mourning and their memories to draw some attention to yourself,” JDM said. “You sound like a real asshat.”
Tell us, what side of the divide do you fall on? Do you agree with Armie Hammer, or his critics? Either way, we can all agree that losing Stan Lee came as a huge blow and he’ll be sorely missed.