A new NFT project promoted by Stan Lee’s Twitter account is facing a severe backlash for its “diversity, equity and inclusion” (DEI) efforts through its promotion of for-profit NFTs with the launch of Marvel creator Stan Lee’s first Indian hero, Chakra the Invincible.
On Tuesday, the account’s operators used the deceased comic creator’s account to debut an NFT collection featuring the Indian superhero. It swiftly garnered criticism from comic book fans and Indians for not only monetizing Stan Lee’s identity, but also using DEI for profit.
The move is emblematic of woke corporate greed, which The Atlantic’s Helen Lewis has described as “cancel culture and the problem of woke capitalism.”
Among those criticizing the move is game journalist Imran Khan, who wrote “This is gross for so many reasons. You should honestly be ashamed of yourselves.”
Even Dictionary.com got in on the action.
YouTuber Jacksepticeye declared “This is so awful.”
The link in the tweet sends comic book fans to a website belonging to Orange Comet, which was co-founded by David Broome, musician Gloria Estefan, and NFL athlete Kurt Warner, which produces NFTs for brands and sports teams.
“Honoring what would have been Stan Lee’s 99th birthday on December 28th, we are inviting all of Stan’s fans to celebrate his amazing legacy with us by sharing ownership in a limited NFT collectible around one of his first international superheroes,” the Orange Comet website claims.
Stan Lee was the creator of some of Marvel Comics’ popular superheroes, including Spiderman, The Avengers and X-Men. His presence was felt throughout the Marvel Comics Universe thanks to his cameos in every MCU film from Iron Man all the way to Avengers: Endgame. He died in November 2018 at the age of 95.
NFTs are essentially digital collectibles that are created and sold for profit, and carry tangible financial worth in the form of cryptocurrency. They can be bought, sold and traded with the original creators receiving a percentage of every sale. The market has boomed over the past year with the rise of Ethereum and Bitcoin, along with Solana and other cryptocurrencies.
However, the rise has come with backlash due to their hyperinflated value, especially as many NFT projects fail to deliver what they promise while simultaneously using an exorbitant amount of energy to maintain.
To Orange Comet’s credit, the Chakra NFT collection, which is set to feature 6,880 pieces, will be launched on the energy-efficient Polygon network rather than Ethereum.
Mashable reports that Marvel Comics is not involved with the NFT project. Despite Stan Lee’s heavy involvement with the Disney-owned company, Marvel itself has nothing to do with Chakra.