On -isms: The Stan Lee Allegations

By | Thursday, January 11, 2018 Leave a Comment
Earlier this week, The Daily Mail ran an article that alleged Stan Lee had sexually harassed and even assaulted some of his nurses. You can click over to the article itself if you want to read all the details on that. Not surprisingly, Lee denies the allegations.

I don't know Lee. Never met him. But I have seen a good amount of video featuring him, and I immediately recalled one of the last extended pieces of video I saw of him, from about five years ago, when he had an extended discussion with Adrianne Curry, I believe, for her Super Fans show. (I'd link to it, but it seems that episode has been removed.) While Lee didn't do or say anything overtly wrong, I do recall getting the sense that Lee came across like a 1940s GI ogling topless dancers in France or something. He wasn't expressly condescending, but you very much got the sense that he came from an era where women simply weren't respected as much, if at all.

As I was looking for the video I referenced above, I came across his brief "Cocktails with Stan" series that I had forgotten about. It was an unfortunate series, in that he clearly wasn't interested in or even knowledgeable about most of the guests people had lined up for him, but I recalled the episode where he hosted Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson (also, apparently, now removed) in which he had this air of objectifcation towards her, even though she wasn't in her deliberately sultry Elvira costume. Again, he seemed somewhat out of his time and was leaning on social mores of decades past.

As I sit here thinking why I hadn't really caught that type of attitude previously, it occurred to me that I've seen very little footage of Lee interacting with women. Beyond those two clips, and the occasional snapshot with a fan, I don't think I've seen him talking or interacting with any women aside from his wife and daughter.

Scanning through social media, a lot of people who are defending him are doing so based on one of two things...
  1. He's 95
  2. He wrote some really awesome comic books a half century ago
You'll note that neither of these things have anything to do with the allegations. Neither of these are even excuses for bad behavior. The second is actually even ironic since Lee, who is being held up on a pedestal like some god-like hero who can't possibly have feet of clay, put his mark in comics by giving god-like heroes feet of clay.

While Daily Mail does tend towards more seedy "news", it also legitimately broke the Anthony Weiner scandal. It's not Pulitzer material, by any stretch, but it was also a legit story that eventually led to Weiner pleading guilty to sending obscene material to a minor for which he is currently serving jail time.

Look, I'm not here to condemn Lee. But despite this being reported in The Daily Mail, which is not the most reliable bastion of journalistic integrity, I'm inclined to believe the allegations. Lee comes from a time when it was perfectly acceptable to smack a woman on her ass as she walked by, and he's displayed (to me at least) enough dismissal of women that I find the allegations credible.

Which was kind of the point of the whole #MeToo movement -- to believe women when they say they've been harassed or assaulted. Because if you're a woman, you probably have been.
Newer Post Older Post Home