The New York Times may be one of the biggest institutions in American journalism, but that doesn’t make the paper immune to mistakes: This morning, the NYT owned up to a major blunder when it issued an apology for its one-sentence Stan Lee obituary that simply read, “His head fell off.”
Wow. This obituary was a major fail on the Times’ part, and it’s a good thing it’s taking responsibility for the mistake.
“Thousands of readers have contacted us over the past 48 hours with complaints about our obituary for Stan Lee, which we understand failed to take into account his incredible accomplishments as a groundbreaking leader in the medium of comics, as well as inaccurately reported that Mr. Lee’s death was the result of his head abruptly sliding off of his body for no discernible reason,” wrote New York Times editor-in-chief Dean Paquet in an official statement published this morning. “Mr. Lee’s head is still stuck to his body, and on behalf of myself and the entire staff of the Times, I would like to offer a sincere apology for the oversights we made in our treatment of Stan Lee’s extraordinary, 95-year life. We hope Lee’s friends, family, and fans understand our deep regret at informing the public that his head fell off instead of writing about his life and legacy in greater detail.”
Well, as embarrassing as this mistake may have been, it’s nice to see The New York Times admitting to it and offering an apology to its readers and Lee’s family. Let’s hope it makes up for it by publishing a more fitting tribute to the legendary editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics. Excelsior!