Will Orson Scott Card’s Homophobia Be Toxic To The “Ender’s Game” Movie?

enders-game-movie-posterWe reported last year that Orson Scott Card’s breakthrough sci-fi classic, Ender’s Game, was being turned into a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster. And we announced we were boycotting the film because Card is a rabid homophobe who thinks gay people have all been molested and could be straight if we wanted to.

Honestly, we thought we were pissing in the wind—a huge sci-fi film coming out around Thanksgiving with a cast that includes Hugo‘s Asa Butterfield, The Help‘s Viola Davis, Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley?  People aren’t gonna care what the author of the original book thinks about gay people, right?

But that was before Card, who’s on the board of the National Organization for Marriage, signed on to write The Adventures of Superman and both he and DC Comics got hit with an cosmic wave of negative publicity. Now even the Hollywood Reporter is wondering if Card’s toxicity will tank the Ender’s Game movie:

Now Summit [Pictures] faces the tricky task of figuring out how to handle Card’s involvement. The first big challenge will be whether to include him in July’s San Diego Comic-Con program. Promoting Ender’s Game without Card would be like trying to promote the first Harry Potter movie without J.K. Rowling. But having Card appear in the main ballroom in front of 6,500 fans could prove a liability if he’s forced to tackle the issue head-on during the Q&A session.

“I don’t think you take him to any fanboy event,” says one studio executive. “This will definitely take away from their creative and their property.”  Another executive sums up the general consensus: “Keep him out of the limelight as much as possible.”

Ender’s insiders already are distancing themselves from the 61-year-old author. “Orson’s politics are not reflective of the moviemakers,” says one person involved in the film. “We’re adapting a work, not a person. The work will stand on its own.”

The analogy’s a little off—Rowling was intricately tied to the books and became a household name in her own right. We doubt most people could pick Card out of a lineup. But the press will continue to raise Card’s odious views as the publicity machine for Ender‘s revs up, whether he’s an integral part of the film’s marketing or not.

In the end, Ender’s Game will probably be a hit, or not, regardless of Card’s homophobia. The film’s target demographic is straight teenage boys who, on the whole, aren’t the most concerned with politics (or even literature.)

But we’ll still boycott the film—even if we’re the only ones in the galaxy who do.


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  • doug105

    Don’t boycott torrent and give it away.
    As for his books if you feel you have to read them that’s what used bookstores are for.

  • 2eo

    You’ll be surprised at the amount of cinema workers who have already pledged to give copies of the film for quality rips prior to release [it currently stands at 112]. I of course would never advocate such behaviour now will I intentionally post where to get these items at the release date, because I stand against this behaviour.

  • Bonerboy

    Sadly, I read and fell in love with these books LONG before I knew about his homophobia.

  • Volvoguy

    The hell with him and the movie.
    No desire to see it and make him richer.

  • Ron Jackson

    I will see the film. Card now disgust me but I don’t think I will be able to pass it up. I loved that book before I knew what an ass Card is. Let’s just hope they don’t butcher the film the way Battlefield Earth was mangled. That is my second favorite book behind Enders Game.

  • doug105

    @Bonerboy: same though most of mine came from a used bookstore.

  • robco

    I too read the book (borrowed it though, so I didn’t pay OSC directly) and it was good. Oddly enough, there was a tint of homoerotica in a few places. The sequel was good. After that, the series goes off the rails.

    I’m hoping that the movie tanks. But well, that’s just schadenfreude on my part. I guess I also feel a little uncomfortable with boycotting a work based on political and/or religious views of the author. I certainly wouldn’t approve if the situation were reversed and a work by a liberal and/or atheist author was boycotted for those reasons.

  • Adam

    @robco: I can understand where you’re coming from, and part of me agrees with you (especially since Ender’s Game and some other of his books were really appealing to me.) But at least for me, Card’s homophobia is not “just” politics; it’s personal. My disapproval of Card goes beyond disagreeing with him on his “views”. He is just full of hate towards gay people–and I am a gay person.

  • nevereclipsed81

    Well I’m expecting all the anti gay people to rev up and make this another Chick Fil A, and at that point it will become a bigger deal. They’ll feel like they’ve won, because it will be a hit regardless, but they will be putting a tough stigma on the studio AND the actors in the film. But whatever, they do evil things everyday, so all we can do is watch it pan out. I think he should go to Comic Con and answer some questions, but he’s probably too anti gay for that.

  • MikeE

    Orson Scott Card is a Mormon (well, I’d say he’s a moron, but that’s neither here nor there).

    Stephenie Meyer is ALSO a Mormon.

    The difference between them? Meyer hasn’t gone out of her way to attack LGBT people and be actively involved in a political movement that would deny LGBT people all civil rights.

    Orson Scott Card HAS gone out of his way to be pro-active in that area. He is on the board of NoM. He has written, repeatedly, articles and op-ed pieces that attack the LGBT community and in some cases actively called for harm to befall us.

    So I don’t mind watching Twilight (ok, I DO mind, because I think it’s garbage, but again, there’s that “neither here nor there” thing), despite Stephenie Meyer’s religious beliefs.

    I DO mind reading anything by O.S.C. because the man is a vile, hate-spewing, fascist monster. And that has absolutely nothing to do with his religion.

    And for those of you who found some parts of Ender’s Game mildly homoerotic (you aren’t the only ones), doesn’t that seem to shine a spotlight on just HOW vocally anti-gay Card is? He says that all gay people are the way they are because they were raped/molested as kids.

    I think Orson Scott Card has pedophilic tendencies. He is frankly obsessed with children’s sexuality, and it seems to be an undercurrent in his writing.

  • longpastdue

    As far as separating his politics from his work I tend to agree that as a stand alone piece of literature I can appreciate it for it’s own merits and I tend to think along the lines that once a person has put a piece of work out there it really no longer belongs to them. As far as the distribution of wealth goes I did not pay for the books and for that I am grateful but I will pay to watch the movie, not in theaters. The way I figure it a lot of people having nothing to do with his values put a lot of time and energy into this film and deserve credit for their work. They didn’t pick this story to tell because of OSC’s values, they did it because they thought it was popular and would make for a good movie and I tend to agree.

  • niles

    Sadly, if an author espoused the kind of things toward any other minority group like Card has espoused about gay persons, he would not find himself anywhere near a movie deal. It’s still considered okay to hate and lie on the Gays. Even Superman himself will be tarnished by his filth (which sickens this childhood reader of the Man of Steel).

  • Blake

    He is one of the producers of the film, so a portion of the profit from this probable box office smash will go towards funding NOM.
    So if you live in any of the states with an active battle in marriage equality, you will be funding the fight against marriage equality.

  • Caliban

    Card is one of the PRODUCERS of the film so there is no way to divorce it from his current political activity. And he is VERY publicly anti-gay, a RABID homophobe. Read his public statements about gays- he thinks we’re sub-human and deserve to be jailed. Or read about his book Hamlet’s Father, gays as child molesters wanting to rape their own children.

    If you can financially support that kind of person…. well, why not just send your money straight to NOM and cut out the middle-man? Pretty shallow and gutless in my opinion. And all so you can see a movie. How very high your standards are! /sarcasm

  • Caleb in SC

    Reading this post and the comments, I am glad I never read any of his books. Now, I am definitely not going to support the movie either.

  • 2eo

    @Caleb in SC: Ender’s Game is a decent book for a 10 year old, like Dan Brown I am embarrassed when I see adults reading them.

  • balehead

    If there’s no homophobia in the content…than i say ignore it…lots of writers had very non-pc views…..just another way to avoid reading I think….

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