Arts & Entertainment

Spike Lee Responded to a Newspaper Mistaking Him for Stan Lee in a Front Page Obit Headline

"Not yet."

Stan Lee, the mastermind behind Marvel Comics, died Monday at age 95. Film director Spike Lee, a legend in his own right, is still very much alive. But a newspaper in New Zealand doesn't seem to know the difference.

On Tuesday, The Gisborne Herald made a huge mistake when they printed an obit headline on the front page of their newspaper that mixed up both men.

"Characters first, superheroes next: Spike Lee Dies at 95," the headline read alongside a photo of Stan. Sure, both of their names start with S, and their last names are Lee, but this is a PRINT newspaper, which means there is plenty of time to fact check before it hits publication.

After the newspaper sold copies, the Internet had a field day with the viral headline, calling out The Gisborne Herald for their error.

Spike himself shared a screen grab of a tweet that called out the paper with a reference to director's 1989 comedy, Do The Right Thing.


"God Bless Stan Lee. Me? Not Yet. And Dat's Da 'I'm Still A Live, And Strivin'' Truth,Ruth. YA-DIG? SHO-NUFF," Spike captioned the photo.

The Gisborne Herald has not issued a statement about the mistake on Twitter, but they do seem to love the attention they're getting. In an article titled, "International spotlight on Gisborne Herald after headline gaffe," a writer notes that the paper "achieved international infamy overnight."

But perhaps The Gisborne Herald will not have any headline-making errors in the future. A journalist named Chris Bartlett tweeted that the company is hiring a sub-editor that prides him or herself in "maintaining high standards."

The bar has been set.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.comMinor edits have been made by the editors.

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Matt Miller
Matt Miller is the Associate Culture Editor for
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