05 Feb 2017 2:17 AM +00:00 UTC

Bestselling Author Takes A Swipe at Batman and Ben Affleck

With the lot of buzz surrounding Ben Affleck's The Batman movie, incuding his directorial turnover, one can hardly blame the guy if he wants some peace and quiet about his Caped Crusader persona. But Sam Harris, bestselling author and New Atheist leader, added to his troubles by using Batman to critiicze the Trump immigration policy in a recent interview with Bill Maher.

Harris, who has been critical of religions especially Islam, says that indiscriminate banning of all immigrants, especially those displaced by war, would simply be inhuman. He advocates accepting Syrians who pose no threat to American society.

Then he interjects:

"If Batman were here, he'd call us racist."

It's not an innocent remark to those who know Harris' history with Affleck, and can be a callout to the actor. As Deadline gives us perspective, Harris and Affleck had publicly duked it out, also on The Real Time with Bill Maher, in 2014. As a guest on the show back then, Harris' was doing what he loves best: ripping apart the less democratic elements of religions, and Islam was on his table that night. Affleck called into the show to protest what he felt were unfair statements.

Harris, never one to back down from a debate, answered back:

"Ben, we have to be able to criticize bad ideas, and Islam at this moment is the motherlode of bad ideas."

Harris' reference to Batman will certainly catch the attention of Affleck as well as the millions of Maher viewers who watched the heated exchange in 2014. The atheist's intentions during this new episode, though, are unclear: were the statements an olive branch extended to Affleck, a casual admission of his possibly softened stance, or simply another jive at the future Batman?

That's one remark that Affleck won't be forgetting soon. It's safe to say, though, that Harris is right about his Batman-related racism remarks. The Dark Avenger has worked with superpowered aliens who were actual immigrants, born in another country or another world.