Forthcoming science fiction movie Ender’s Game, based on the novel by Orson Scott Card, has come against opposition due to the novelists outspoken homophobia.
Orson Scott Card has been out as a homophobe since 1990, when he wrote an article for Mormon publication Sunstone Magazine, demanding that anti-gay laws remain on the books, and has been a controversial figure ever since. He is also a member of anti-marriage equality group the National Organization for Marriage.
At the time of writing, two protests are being organised, both via social media site, tumblr. One is a formal boycott, put together by US based LGBT rights group Geeks Out. The group have set up a formal pledge website, called Skip Ender’s Game. Their stance on the matter is as follows “By pledging to Skip Ender’s Game, we can send a clear and serious message to Card and those that do business with his brand of anti-gay activism — whatever he’s selling, we’re not buying. The queer geek community will not subsidize his fear-mongering and religious bullying. We will not pay him to demean, insult, and oppress us.”
The other, less formally organised protest is a partial response to the proposed boycott. Members of the community have expressed their concern that boycotting the movie punishes not only Card, but the hundreds of people who’ve been involved with the film’s production. Instead of boycotting the film, the idea is to donate the cost of a ticket to a gay rights charity and then to contact Orson Scott Card with details of the donation. An example of this grassroots campaign can be found here.
Card himself has released a recent statement in response to the boycott. He told Entertainment Weekly “Ender’s Game is set more than a century in the future and has nothing to do with political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984. With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot. The Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution will, sooner or later, give legal force in every state to any marriage contract recognized by any other state. Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute. ”
Card has since been asked by the distributors of Enders Game not be involved in any publicity relating to the movie. Lionsgate released the following statement in response to proposed boycott: “As proud longtime supporters of the LGBT community, champions of films ranging from God and Monsters to The Perks of Being a Wallflower and a Company that is proud to have recognized same-sex unions and domestic partnerships within its employee benefits policies for many years, we obviously do not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card and those of the National Organization for Marriage. However, they are completely irrelevant to a discussion of Ender’s Game. The simple fact is that neither the underlying book nor the film itself reflects these views in any way, shape or form. On the contrary, the film not only transports viewers to an entertaining and action-filled world, but it does so with positive and inspiring characters who ultimately deliver an ennobling and life-affirming message. Lionsgate will continue its longstanding commitment to the LGBT community by exploring new ways we can support LGBT causes and, as part of this ongoing process, will host a benefit premiere for Ender’s Game.”
Ender’s Game will be released in the UK on October 25th.
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