Bill Maher clarified his comments made in a recent op-ed he wrote on his website in the wake of Marvel creator Stan Lee’s death. The “Real Time” host said he wasn’t criticizing Lee personally but rather the culture that celebrates comic books.
Maher defended his piece in the wake of the backlash and said that people getting so angry about it is proof of his point.
“Talk about making my point for me,” Maher said in an interview on “Larry King Now.” “It certainly wasn’t a swipe on Stan Lee.”
Maher said he only recently learned about the backlash to his op-ed and was glad he can generally ignore and avoid every social media firestorm. He also said that he knows little about Lee and never read comic books, not as an adult or as a child, but reiterated that his op-ed was a criticism of the culture at large.
“I’m agnostic on Stan Lee,” Maher said. “What I was saying is a culture that thinks that comic books and comic book movies are profound meditations on the human condition is a dumb f—ing culture. And for people to get mad at that just proves my point.”
Maher’s op-ed, written within days of Lee’s passing, dismissed comic books as kids stuff, saying that Americans decided to never grow up and move on from the comic books that Lee helped popularize.
“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. “I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to suggest that Donald Trump could only get elected in a country that thinks comic books are important.”
The HBO show host also slammed the newly popularized term “adulting,” saying, “And now when adults are forced to do grown-up things like buy auto insurance, they call it ‘adulting,’ and act like it’s some giant struggle.”
Lee’s team at POW! Entertainment sent an open letter to Maher criticizing his comments.
“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,” the letter reads. “These are but a few of the things we the fans of Stan Lee also consider “adulting,” because life both as a child and grown-up can indeed be a struggle.”
Watch the clip of Maher on “Larry King Now” above.