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Bendis Responds to Criticism Over Action Character's Derogatory Use of 'Autism'

Writer Brian Michael Bendis has come under fire for his derogatory use of the word "autistic," as spoken by a villain in Action Comics #1002. Readers and comic journalists, some of whom have or work with autistic children, took to Twitter to criticize Bendis, DC Comics and its editors for the usage of the term.

Bendis has since apologized and explained why he used the term, which was uttered by a villain and not Superman himself. The writer tweeted, "Yeah, it is an insult I can't stand. It has been said to me directly and I put it in my work to illustrate its ugliness from an ugly character who got his immediate comeuppance."

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What's more, Bendis has reached out to his editors to ensure the word will not appear in subsequent printings or in the trade paperback. "I called my editor & told them to make sure it’s not in any other printings," he wrote. "It won’t be in the trade. Language is tough. When trying to be real you can be real hurtful. You know it wasn’t my intention & you helped me see a way to fix it. Thank you."

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The scene in question finds Boss Moxie Mannheim chewing out one of his henchmen. When the henchman is unable to confirm Superman's whereabouts, Mannheim becomes enraged and shouts at him, yelling, "Is Superman in Metropolis or not, you autistic @#!@#$?!"

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For some, the debate continues on Twitter and elsewhere. At least major one critic, though, is satisfied with Bendis' response:

Bendis and Patrick Gleason's Action Comics #1002 went on sale this Wednesday.

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