Boycotting Ender’s Game

Orson Scott Card is one of my roll models as an author, but not necessarily as anything beyond that.  Specifically, I do not agree with his position against gay marriage, nor do I condone his vehement and sometimes hateful attempts to stop it.  Now there’s a movie coming out based on his greatest book, Ender’s Game (I wrote a post on that yesterday), and there’s an effort to boycott the movie because of Card’s controversial political views.

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Card’s views can be extreme, even to those who favor traditional marriage.  According to the website skipendersgame.com, Card once said that people in the LGBT community “[…] cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within [a] society.”  As a bookworm, especially a bookworm of Science Fiction books, this puts me in a difficult position.  I love Ender’s Game, but I have far too many gay friends for me to be neutral, and even if that weren’t the case… really, you don’t think they should be citizens?

But Ender’s Game isn’t about this at all.  It has nothing to do with marriage equality.  In fact, it’s a book about learning to understand another person’s point of view, no matter how “alien” that person may seem to you.  It’s about looking at someone you think of as an enemy and finding only a reflection of yourself.  In other words, it’s about tolerance.

It’s strange to get this message of tolerance from a man who, by all appearances, is not very tolerant himself.  So where should we draw the line between an author and the stories he writes?  How much do the political views of writers, actors, artists, or musicians affect the way we perceive and enjoy their work?

4 Responses to Boycotting Ender’s Game

  1. lcmitsu says:

    I say go and enjoy the movie. The important thing is that you know what you stand for and what’s important to you. We will never agree with everyone’s thoughts and opinions but that doesn’t mean we don’t respect their right to them.

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  2. JF Owen says:

    I respect the right others have to differ with my opinion on virtually any subject. I regularly read books by authors whose political views are diametrically opposed to mine. I think Scientology is a goofy cult created on a lark by Ron Hubbard, but I still enjoy watching Will Smith and Catherine Bell act. When Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks pissed off half of the United States with her political comments, I kept buying their music…because I liked it. Orson Scott Card is a different situation.

    I was a big fan of OSC’s Ender series from Ender’s War through Xenocide. I loved the Alvin Maker and Homecoming series books. But in the mid-nineties, when he began his vitriolic campaign against homosexuals, I lost interest in reading his books. There’s a difference between having a difference of opinion about politics, religion or nearly any other subject and spewing hatred towards other human beings. Truth said, it doesn’t even bother me when someone argues against gay marriage. I don’t agree with them, but I respect their right to have a differing opinion. Mr. Card takes his position to a new level. If you listen to what he has said and read what he has written, you will have no doubt that he would like nothing more than to snap his fingers and have every gay person in the world disappear from existence. He hates gays and makes no bones about his feelings. I can’t abide hatred of a group of people who have no intent to harm anyone.

    I won’t get into an argument about the religious issues of homosexuality or whether or not being gay is a choice or predetermined by physiology. The truth is it doesn’t matter why someone is gay. They still are due the same rights as Mr. Card or I have. He doesn’t agree and for me that’s reason enough to not want to line his pockets with my hard earned money. I don’t buy his books any longer and I won’t pay to see Ender’s game, even though I’m certain that it will be an entertaining and compelling movie.

    Lest you wonder, no, I not gay. I’m I rickety old engineer with a wife, two children and three grandchildren. I just believe that, if one of my grandchildren end up being gay, they have the right to have a happy, fulfilling and free life while they enjoy the same rights as everyone else. Mr. Card says no to that.

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    • James Pailly says:

      I hear you. I have a lot of friends on both sides of this issue, but no one I know has taken things as far as Orson Scott Card. He’s such a great writer, and the things he says in his books have inspired me; but then there’s the man crusading against gay rights… not just gay marriage but rights of any kind for gay people (or so it often seems). It’s like he’s two different people. I try my best to keep the two Cards separate in my mind so I can still enjoy books like Ender’s Game, but the anti-gay Card makes that very difficult sometimes.

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