Stan Lee’s company POW! Entertainment issued an open letter Monday after comedian Bill Maher criticized the late Marvel legend after his death at age 95 on Nov. 12.

Maher, the 62-year-old host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, wrote a blog post over the weekend in which he mocked American adults for liking comic books and downplayed the impact Lee had on the U.S. and the world.

“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 in his post, which he titled “Adulting.”

Maher continued, “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.”

The comic then went on to suggest America’s childish obsession with things like comic books indirectly led to the election of President Donald Trump.

POW! Entertainment called Maher’s comments “disgusting” in a statement.


“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,” the statement read. “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.”

The company continued: “But to say that Stan merely inspired people to ‘watch a movie’ is in our opinion frankly disgusting,” POW! wrote. “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.”

Maher, whose show aired its season finale on Friday, has long been known for his highly controversial opinions and unabashedly crude rhetoric when discussing social or political issues.

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