Ever since the news broke that Stan Lee has passed away, social media has flooded with messages from fans and celebrities remembering the man and thanking him for his contributions to comic book history. But with this being the internet, it was inevitable that this outpouring of tributes was also the subject of a little conflict.
In a now-deleted tweet, actor Armie Hammer took his fellow celebrities to task for the ways they’ve chosen to honor the memory of Lee:
“So touched by all of the celebrities posting pictures of themselves with Stan Lee… no better way to commemorate an absolute legend than putting up a picture of yourself.”
Regardless of whether you think the Call Me by Your Name star had a point, telling other people how to mourn was never going to go over well with the internet at large, and the actor was quickly met with a wave of backlash. Among his critics was The Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who didn’t mince words in calling Hammer out for what he saw as hypocrisy:
“Looks like you found a way to use others ways of mourning and their memories to draw some attention to yourself. You sound like a real asshat.”
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Among the famous figures who shared photos of themselves and Lee was Dwayne Johnson, who also praised the legendary comic book creator for his imagination and reflected on a time when the writer offered him some “very sage advice on navigating a career.” Meanwhile, Robert Downey Jr. took to Instagram with a photo of his own and a more concise caption that simply read, “I owe it all to you,,, Rest In Peace Stan…”
We could surely debate all day on whether such displays of affection are valid forms of commemoration or just a case of selfie-era narcissism, but with Hammer’s tweet now deleted, most of us would probably rather move on from this dispute and remember the life and work of Stan Lee however we personally see fit.