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Spike Lee Responds to Being Mistaken for Stan Lee and Pronounced Dead in New Zealand Obituary

IndieWire logo IndieWire 11/13/2018 Zack Sharf
Spike Lee wearing a suit and tie: 2018 Patron of the Artists Awards, Beverly Hills, USA - 08 Nov 2018 © Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock 2018 Patron of the Artists Awards, Beverly Hills, USA - 08 Nov 2018

As publications across the world paid tribute to Stan Lee following the news of his passing, one newspaper found itself in hot water after confusing the late comic book icon with director Spike Lee. New Zealand’s Gisborne Herald is going viral for all the wrong reasons after printing Spike Lee’s name on its front page obituary intended for Stan Lee. The newspaper pronounced the “Malcolm X” and “Do The Right Thing” filmmaker dead at 95.

Spike Lee reacted to the mistake on his Instagram account by channeling one of the more famous lines from “Do the Right the Thing.” “God Bless Stan Lee,” the director wrote. “Me? Not Yet. And Dat’s Da ‘I’m Still A Live, And Strivin’ Truth, Ruth. YA-DIG? SHO-NUFF.” 

Stan Lee passed away November 12 at age 95 after battling complications from pneumonia. Lee is famous for his work with Jack Kirby at Marvel Comics, where he formerly served as editor-in-chief. Iconic superheroes such as Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, Black Panther, and Iron Man were all created or co-created by Lee. The comic book genius’ work has been a staple of the blockbuster film era thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in which he appeared in beloved cameos.

Spike Lee was in theaters earlier this year with “BlacKkKlansman,” which was a summer hit for Focus Features and earned Lee the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival. Lee is one of this awards season’s top Oscar contenders to land a Best Director nomination, while the film is expected to factor into the Best Picture race as well. The film is now available on digital and VOD.

Related video: Stan Lee dies at 95 (via CBS)

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