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People Are Upset With Bill Maher After He Dismissed Stan Lee's Legacy

The political commentator faced backlash after dismissing the late comic book legend's work.

Last updated on November 20, 2018, at 9:26 a.m. ET

Posted on November 19, 2018, at 10:27 a.m. ET

Vivien Killilea / Getty Images

Political commentator Bill Maher is being criticized for dismissing the work of Marvel comic book legend Stan Lee, who died last week at the age of 95.

"The guy who created Spider-Man and the Hulk has died, and America is in mourning. Deep, deep mourning for a man who inspired millions to, I don’t know, watch a movie, I guess," Maher wrote on his Real Time blog Saturday.

Maher's words got folks riled up because he later called comic books "kid stuff" and asserted that people "pretended comic books were actually sophisticated literature," all before surmising that he didn't think it was "a huge stretch" that President Donald Trump got elected "in a country that thinks comic books are important."

Backlash to Maher's comments was swift. He was called "obnoxious and attention-seeking."

It's crazy to me that Bill Maher is using Stan Lee's death to insult the maturity of comic book fans. It's crazily out of character for him to try to assert his intellectual superiority over the ignorant masses in a shrill, strident, obnoxious and attention-seeking way.

And others thought his blog was "trashy, pointless, and bitter sounding."

Bill Maher’s trashy, pointless, and bitter sounding “blog post” is no shock. He makes a living off criticizing and trashing other people‘s work and lives. He’s a “comic” that people laugh at and agree with and then fancy themselves smart & progressive. You’re not. #RIPStanLee https://t.co/2sBAVA6APR

Some questioned why Maher would seemingly have an issue with people grieving the death of a beloved icon.

Here’s a thing, even if you don’t care about comics. @billmaher saw a mass of people grieving and thought, ‘Hey, how can I make this about me?’ Probably all anyone needs to know, really.

Others accused the host of mining for an excuse to tell the world that comic books are dumb.

Bill Maher: Man, I'd really love an excuse to tell the world that I think comic books are dumb and the people who create them are worthless, but when should I bring it up? Stan Lee: *dies* Bill Maher: https://t.co/oW6Qcaccac

Surprisingly, one person highlighted the fact that Maher himself had appeared in Iron Man 3 back in 2013, so like, 👀.

Ok @billmaher why talk smack about Stan Lee? You had no problem taking that check and appearing in Iron Man 3. Just saying

Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment responded to Maher's criticism in an open letter Monday.

The production company wrote that it was "frankly disgusting" for Maher to say Lee "merely inspired people to 'watch a movie.'"

"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," the letter read.

"So please remember: “With great power there must also come -- great responsibility!”

You can read the full statement here.

Marvel Studios

This is far from the first time Maher has been involved in controversy.

Just last year, the longtime host was called out for racist comments. He referred to himself as a "house nigger" while talking to Republican Sen. Ben Sasse. Maher later apologized, saying, "The word was offensive, and I regret saying it and am very sorry."

Before that incident, Maher made a racist joke comparing pop star Zayn Malik to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the man responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing back in 2013.

UPDATE

This story has been updated with comment from Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment.

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