There has been a great deal of controversy, concern, and confusion surround Stan Lee lately, and now things have taken a new turn with Lee suing POW! Entertainment for stealing his likeness.
The story around the beloved Marvel founder has been quite troubling lately, to say the least. With accusations of sexual misconduct on Lee’s part and accusations of elder abuse against his caretakers, fans have been quite confused and worried about Stan Lee.
Now Lee is suing his company, POW! Entertainment for fraud and conversion. As Hollywood Reporter states, Lee claims the company and two of its officers conspired to steal his identity, name, and likeness for a “sham” sale to a Hong Kong-based company, Camsing International.
Camsing acquired POW! in 2017, and Lee claims that two POW! officers, CEO Shane Duffy and co-founder Gill Champion, failed to disclose the full terms of the acquisition to Lee before the deal was done. At the time of the deal, Lee’s beloved wife, Joan, was on her deathbed, and Lee claims that Duffy and Champion took advantage of that tragedy to push the deal through.
Additionally, last year Lee was asked to sign a document that he believed would offer POW! a non-exclusive license for Lee’s name and likeness in connection to the creative works owned by the company. However, Lee later learned that the document actually granted POW! exclusive rights to Lee’s name, identity, and likeness “on a worldwide basis in perpetuity.”
Lee claims he doesn’t recall anyone reading the document to him (which is essential as Lee’s macular degeneration has rendered him legally blind). Therefore, Lee is claiming that his signature was either forged to offer POW! exclusive rights to his likeness (something Lee has historically never done), it was taken from another document, or that POW! execs did a “bait and switch,” telling Lee that he was signing something other than a document that gave away the rights to his likeness. Lee is seeking to nullify the deal and receive 1 billion dollars in damages.
The story is quite troubling, especially after claims of elder abuse against Lee back in April. We hope that Lee can find a good advocate and any injustices that have been done to him can be set right. We’ll be watching this story to see how it develops.