Kyle J. Steenblik

Should we boycott Ender’s Game and Orson Scott Card?

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Orson Scott Card has a big closet.Why is everyone pissed off over Orson Scott Card and should we boycott Ender’s Game?  Well I’ll tell you.

The extra short version is that Orson Scott Card has a problem with the gays, and so they gays, and the friends, and family of the gays have a problem with him.  Really, it’s a very silly thing when you try to explain it.  I won’t call Card a homophobe, not just because I think that word is a misleading justification for ignorance and bigotry.  I won’t call him a homophobe because I think his issues run deeper than religious indoctrination, and ignorance, or even bigotry.  It isn’t my place to cast stones, or open closet doors, as much fun as it is.  I am just here to try to explain why there are some very upset people.  Beyond saying that it is 2013 and we even have to pretend a person who is gay, is different from someone that is not, because some people loudly dislike them.

The story starts a long time ago, unfortunately not far far away.  1990, Orson Scott Card wrote an article for Sunstone Magazine called The Hypocrites of Homosexuality.  I’m sure you can imagine what he said, but just in case you can’t, here is a nice quote.  “Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.”

That was 1990.  23 years later, he has written several articles, editorials, and essays on this subject.  He was on the board of the National Organization for Marriage, and has in the face of boycott and bad press, attempted to marginalize the problem.  It should be said his most sincere attempt to mute this opposition was to call for tolerance, tolerance of his opinion.  He called for those that disagree with him, to respect his opinion, as if this were a matter of what kind of cheap beer you like.  Sometimes opinions, and ideas, are wrong.  It is not only foolish, but also dangerous to civilization to allow those ideas and opinions to survive in the shadows.

That is why people don’t like Orson Scott Card.  Personally, I lost all respect for the man when I read these writings.  That is a very sad fact, because he wrote some great books.  He is a nice and genuine person.  I remember, very well, talking to him about this movie 7 years ago.  We talked about the struggles of getting the script right.  Keeping a studio interested while you fix problems with the script.  Watching the story, and script you wrote are farmed out to make it more appealing to a target audience.  We talked about Wolfgang Peterson, who was originally attached to direct the movie.  That made it personal for me.

Enough about that, why, specifically, are people calling for a boycott of a movie, based on a book, that this guy wrote?  Because Orson Scott Card will receive a percentage of the profits Ender’s Game makes.  The studio, I believe, has already paid the cast and crew.  The studio now has to make their money back, and that profit is split between Lions Gate, and the producers.  Orson Scott Card is a producer, and writer on this film.  He also has a cameo on screen (reportedly, I do not know if that is in the final cut).  The boycott is intended to keep as much money as possible from finding its way to Orson Scott Card, where he could use that money to further his fight against civil rights.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will not be screening or reviewing this film, only because I am not available on the night the screening takes place.  I will, take my wife to see this film, but I might be buying tickets for a different movie playing in an adjacent theatre at the same time.  On the other hand, I may say stuff the boycott, buy tickets, go see the movie, and send the ticket to Card asking if has a problem with the hypocrisy of homosexual money.

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