Considering he's speaking more about artistic creativity and originality, this is probably only scathing if you draw bad manga.
You could substitute bad McFarlane, Ramos, Lee, and Mad artists for bad manga-- it's a parallel argument: Why be a pale imitation of someone else, when you can have your own style and story?
I agree though that there's nothing wrong with influence. Whibbage's work is a fantastic example here.
Check out Exile From Kiirs, Reman Mythology, or Tired Feet
guess you'll need a link...wait a minute.
She's blended manga with her own style-- the result is an original, unique voice.
it's a good as anything going.