Orson Scott Card waves a sullen white flag on gay marriage to thwart ‘Ender’s Game’ boycott

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Controversial jacket-holding author Orson Scott Card has finally commented on the proposed boycott of ENDER’S GAME, the tentpole SF movie based on his work launching this fall.

Card has been on the hot seat over his 2008 comments opposing gay marriage, and his involvement as a board member for the National Organization for Marriage, which actively worked against marriage equality. Earlier this year, a proposed Superman digital comic story written by Card ignited a firestorm of internet protest, and artist Chris Sprouse eventually withdrew, putting the story on indefinite hold.

With ENDER’S GAME opening in November, an even huger firestorm is poised to sweep over land and sea, with a call for a boycott by LGBT nerd group Geeks Out already out there. In an attempt to defuse the situation, Card, who had been silent until now, released a statement to EW:

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.

Orson Scott Card


Okay so you guys won, so leave me alone to live my life and make millions from a movie.

So tolerance on speaking out is good but tolerance on allowing people to enjoy the legal benefits of life partnership wasn’t. Until the courts said it was okay.

Card is being kept away from the Comic-Con panels for Ender’s Game and probably won’t do any promotion for the film. While many still love Ender’s Game, and say the message is a more uplifting one, I doubt this statement will do much to encourage those planning to boycott to see the movie.

Comments

  1. Yeah, I’m not spending one thin dime that might end up in that guy’s bank account. Not one.

    I don’t go to see Mel Gibson movies (and I used to LOVE Mel Gibson movies) anymore. I don’t eat at Chick-Fil-A. I don’t watch Paula Deen.

    And I won’t give him any of my money. It’s funny how people to try frame boycotts as some sort of “tolerance” issue, or a free speech one. This is about the free MARKET. We spend our money as we choose…and our choices are affected by the bone-headed hate speeches that popular people think they can get away with making.

    Screw that guy, his books, and his movie. Not one dime.

  2. This is a fundamentally dishonest statement. Card remains on the board of the National Organization For Marriage, a group which continues to battle to prevent legal same-sex marriage in the United States, currently pushing hard for a Constitutional amendment. During his time on the group’s board, During his time on that board, the group has repeatedly continued to seek to punish folks for their stance on settled issues, such as their continuing call for a boycott against General Mills over their stance in a state vote that is now over half a year in the past, or such as their successful campaign to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justice who in a settled ruling had ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. So it’s hard to accept that he believes that this is a settled issue or that he believes that settled issues should spell the end to opposition… except when it’s he who is paying the price.

  3. Ah, the good old “Your intolerance of my intolerance makes YOU the intolerant one” card! It never gets old.

  4. Charles Ranier says:

    @CBrown basically, THIS

  5. yes you are free to have any opinion and belong to/lead any hate group that you want. I’m also free to never give your endeavors a dime of my money and write you and your work off.

    There is nothing in the whole free speech deal the requires me to financially support your business endeavors. Say what ever you want, but live with the consequences of your actions and words. You’re not entitled to anyones money.

    Until i see more meaningful efforts and actions to denounce his past views, I think its safe to assume he’s more worried about the Enders movie franchise thats hanging in the balance more than changing his world view.

  6. R. Maheras says:

    I don’t condone blacklisting and/or extortion, regardless of how well-intentioned the cause.

  7. vote with your wallets. You don’t get any more democratic/capitalistic than that. We shall see how it all plays out.

  8. Serhend Sirkecioglu says:

    All this clamoring of social justice and boycotting goods is rly short sighted, his opinions on gay marriage(which was first proposed by a conservative in the Economist, the gay community at the time was all “f*** the establishment” and rejected it until they started to have families.) have no bearing on his body of work. if people truly followed paper and material trail of any of their products they would find horrible practices everywhere(like the cathodes in your lights come from Uzbekistan, a dictatorship where political dissenters are boiled alive, ethnic groups are not allowed to teach children in their native language, and book burning of non-uzbek works). What actual and immediate impact does he have on any gay rights issue? None at all. This is just another forced apology, from the social justice inquisition; who was never going to accept it.

  9. purgmc says:

    The “issue” certainly did exist in 1984 and was a part of a broader context of gay people being accepted in society. It’s funny how these people always want us to be more accepting of them when they have provern to be on the wrong side of history but have done nothing but demonize us for years.

  10. Serhand – your point is well-taken that injustice can be found in almost any place, if you look hard enough. However, that doesn’t mean that you only have the binary option of confronting all injustice or doing nothing. Some people are going to focus on this Card/gay rights issue and some are going to focus on Uzbekistan/light bulbs. No one can take on the whole world at once.

  11. Silly but True says:

    This whole thing is shocking to me. When I first read Ender’s Game back in Jr. High, I thought he was one of the gayest authors I read, what with its naked boy shower wrestling. Then I read a later book by him — a loose sequel to EG — whose entire plot pivoted on disintegrating gonads turning to fat, and I realized it wasn’t that he was homosexual, but just some crazy sexual deviant with a strange fixation on male reproductive organs within his writing. That was the last Card book I read. I guess when it it comes to Card’s writing about male genitalia, he likes writing his sci-fi “hard.”

  12. majorjoe23 says:

    “What actual and immediate impact does he have on any gay rights issue?”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Organization_for_Marriage#California_Proposition_8

    And what organization is Card on the board for?

  13. Garry Boldwater says:

    Serhend – Maybe instead of boycotting his work, Card’s opponents should have tried to make it illegal for Mormons to get married.

  14. Serhend Sirkecioglu says:

    Zach,it has nothing to do with what causes to follow. it has more do with, what’s the tangible in protesting his work? what socio-political gain is there? my prior comment is about the short-sightedness of social justice and how it goes after the “casual recreational user” and never the “cartel”. It’s like how the sierra club vehemently is against the Key-stone pipeline from being built when the alternative of shipping the oil by rail would have a greater ecological impact than letting the oil flow through a pipe. social justice is all about symbols and superlatives. Geeks Out can’t take on NOM so they go after a former board member where there is no tangible gain. social justice overall is romanticized mob justice.

  15. Serhend Sirkecioglu says:

    [note I said former board member, my mistake]
    So NOM now has more clout than the Supreme Court? do you really think that by the time that film is released that the supreme court is going to overturn their own decision based on the financial success of the film? the failure of his film does what for gay marriage proponents? do laws get passed as a result of Ender’s game tanking? give me a tangible benefit of protesting the film besides symbolism. give me a imminent and tangible threat to the queer community if this film should make money.

  16. “A former board member”??? Not by any source I’ve seen. Still current (although relevant to some discussion above, he wasn’t on the board when Prop 8 was passed, not joining until 2009… but he was on the board for many other such efforts.)

  17. I think there would be a powerful message sent to corporate America that we as a progressive, 21st Century nation, value equality for all citizens and will not financially support brands and products that align themselves with hateful, fringe activists.

  18. Serhend Sirkecioglu says:

    Joe that’s a symbol, the action of boycotting stand for something it does not produce anything; It’s not like you’re protesting for a change in the script which is a tangible. Where’s the imminent and tangible threat to the LGBT community in the production of Ender’s Game? There is none, all I see in the comments internet hyperbole and essentialism. NOM has just come off a ruthless denial from supreme court where gay marriage is now bulletproof. is the release of Enders Game their trump card and will cause sweeping legislation changes? no, so back to my point of the short-sightedness of social justice.

  19. Given that Card was actively lobbying to prevent people from getting married – and, at one point, arguing they should be jailed for illegal homosexual acts – it doesn’t seem unreasonable to lobby against a movie he stands to profit from. Did he have a measurable impact on gay marriage legislation? I don’t know, but he certainly tried to.

    I do believe people should be able to voice their opinions freely (within reasonable limits). But I also believe that people should be able to marry who they choose (within reasonable limits). If you’re going to make a career of interfering with other people’s lives, you can’t get pissy when they turn the tables on you.

  20. well, a giant Sci Fi epic summer movie from an established series of novels turning into a box office flop has financial and creative repercussions that would last. So that’s a bit more than a symbol.

  21. Serhend Sirkecioglu says:

    Does the failure of the film prevent him from lobbying? i hear same thing: “i love equality and you have the right your own opinion, but i be damned if you disagree with me and will defame/financially ruin sh*t out of you!” such a double standard and similar to a mobster telling you speak your mind while flashing their handgun. OSC is an old man from another time, I’m not going to waste my time “protesting his film” because that’s not where the real fight is, the real fight is in the state legislature. spend your time and energy hounding your congressmen/women and actually help get a law passed or be a slacktivist and protest not watching a movie.

  22. Serhend Sirkecioglu says:

    Joe it’s not his money at stake, he got paid already for the rights. It’s the producers, cast and crew that will be hurt by this. Asa Butterfield and Hayley Steinfeld has more to lose on this flopping than OSC.

  23. “Does the failure of the film prevent him from lobbying? ”
    Certainly, the threat of an impact against the film seems to have caused him to distance himself from his cause.

    “Joe it’s not his money at stake, he got paid already for the rights.”
    If he’s already got all the money that he would get should the project be successful… if he gets no money from the licensing, from the movie-branded edition of the book, and most significantly, from the sequels – then he either has gotten himself a curiously large pile of money or a sadly weak contract.

  24. how am i obligated to financially support every movie that comes out? Its the studio’s job to get me into a theatre, and for me (and a lot of others) This one person’s involvement is a reason to stay home. There is SO much stuff that comes out in all facets of entertainment. Movies, TV, Games, Comics…i’m looking for reasons to save my money and time wherever i can. Kinda foolish for a studio to give you a great reason to pass on a blockbuster movie because of a controversial person involved with it. That’s just silly business.

  25. I plan to buy a ticket to something else when I see Ender’s Game. I enjoyed the book so I’d like to see the movie. No desire to line Card’s pockets.

  26. Rich Harvey says:

    Never read “Enders Game” … It’s one of those books that I probably should, especially since I haven’t read anything by him before. Looking forward to the film, so I can claim I read the book when I really didn’t.

  27. george says:

    I haven’t read “Ender’s Game,” so the movie version means nothing to me. Card had made stupid, boorish comments, but that wouldn’t stop me from seeing the movie if it interested me.

    I suspect that for a lot of people, this is just a science fiction movie with Harrison Ford. Period.

  28. Serhend Sirkecioglu: Following your own logic, I would like to know what kind of imminent and tangible benefit you’re getting out of arguing with people on the internet.

  29. MWorrell says:

    Not sure why it’s so mind blowing to some people that other people disagree with them, even in highly controversial ways. Bottom line is that if you hold a minority view in a culture that disagrees, you’ll get grief. If that’s all you get, you’re better off than some. Atheists endured it in the past, gays endured it in the recent past, and now I guess people who hold traditional views on marriage or sexuality are going to have to endure it. I’m libertarian on the matter; if someone wants to marry their television it’s really not my business. But I also believe people are allowed to have differences of opinion from me without having to be broken financially/socially/professionally before me. I don’t care how pure my ideals are or how right I believe I am.

  30. Justin P said:

    “I don’t go to see Mel Gibson movies (and I used to LOVE Mel Gibson movies) anymore. I don’t eat at Chick-Fil-A. I don’t watch Paula Deen.”

    Just FTR, while Gibson and Chick-Fil-A stand condemned out of their own mouths, there’s still some question as to what Paula Deen said and to whom she said it. I have my doubts that the conclusion of the Deen trial will resolve anyone’s opinions on the matter, but FTR, it’s not yet a slam-dunk.

  31. If individual patrons are cheesed off by a literary figure’s politics, then they definitely should not patronize his work. Besides, the public library system often makes it possible for anyone curious to patronize a given work without giving an (extra) red cent to its originator.

    I’m not comfortable with groups lobbying against authors for incorrect thoughts, though. Literature, both high and low, should be a place where one can vent one’s incorrect thoughts or feelings, and then let the chips fall, etc.

  32. I was a vocal opponent of the campaign to get Card fired from writing a Superman story because of his personal beliefs or even his political activities. Those are not valid reasons to deny someone a job. As someone who has gotten fired for his beliefs and his politics, I take that principle seriously. “Are you now, or have you ever been a member of NOM?” Chilling. Getting dumped by DC didn’t harm Car, but it did harm the principle of employment fairness and political freedom. Oops.

    But this film is a different matter. These are not employers deciding whether to act or not, but consumers. Card is not a vulnerable employee who can be dismissed on a whim, but instead an indispensible player and one of the chief beneficiaries of the movie’s (potential) success. He may already have his rights money for this film, but if it does really well, you can be sure he’ll see another check for an adaptation of the next film in the “Ender” series, or for someone else “by the author of Ender’s Game“, if not… he won’t.

  33. @ Serhand – I’d say the tangible gain is that you are denying more funds from reaching a man who uses his money and fame to actively discriminate against people.

  34. Jason Quest: OSC was not fired from writing Superman. He was presumably paid for his script. DC is just not publishing it. OSC was in no way “denied employment” by anyone.

  35. george says:

    Gene Phillips said: “If individual patrons are cheesed off by a literary figure’s politics, then they definitely should not patronize his work.”

    Does that include performers? Then I wouldn’t be able to watch old movies with John Wayne or Charlton Heston, because I definitely didn’t share their political views. On the left, I’m not too crazy about some of the comments made by Jane Fonda and Charlie Chaplin.

    It takes more than dopey political comments to make me boycott someone’s work. I did boycott Guns N Roses’ music when Axl Rose started wearing a Charles Manson T-shirt. IIRC, he also recorded a song written by Manson.

    That’s where I draw the line: glorifying a mass murderer. I don’t care much for Leni Riefenstahl, either.

  36. Serhend Sirkecioglu says:

    Wow a lot has happened since left, let’s get down business. this is gonna be my last post.

    @Nat, “Certainly, the threat of an impact against the film seems to have caused him to distance himself from his cause.” OSC never said he’s not going to stop lobbying, he just pointed out an inevitability that we all know is coming.

    “If he’s already got all the money that he would get should the project be successful… if he gets no money from the licensing, from the movie-branded edition of the book, and most significantly, from the sequels – then he either has gotten himself a curiously large pile of money or a sadly weak contract.”

    You completely ignored my point of he has no money at stake, the studio, producers, director, screenwriters, and actors on the other hand do; he can only profit, the potential losses are on the lap of everyone else involved in the project. I’m seeing the film because I’ve liked Hailee Steinfeld since True Grit, I want to support her career, and I won’t have the time to read Ender’s Game. I’m not going naively protest a film for flimsy symbolism esp. not right after the most decisive win for the queer community. So again, what’s the tangible benefit to the LGBT community to see Ender’s flop when the losses of the film will mostly fall upon the studio? everyone keep giving this “oh but we get to stick one right in OSCs eye”…that’s a symbolic victory, nothing for the gay marriage platform advanced because of it, He’s still on the board of NOM at the end of the day.

    @SKFK
    Tangibly benefit by seeing people resort to face-saving snark and have no answers for their hypocrisy while getting a laugh or two.

    @Zach At the expense of the cast and crew and you are still giving me a symbolic win. “We stuck it to OSC! now he’ll have less money!” Because this film is his only source of income.

    I’m a libertarian and I stand for freedom period; Even for the people I don’t like or agree with. your choice to shame and defame him is groundless and has nothing to do with the film itself, just “he disagrees with me so i’m gonna financially ruin him” like some petty and spiteful high-school girl. OSCs opinion on gay marriage is moot and the 14th amendment says no to it anyways(has said so for a very long time)….so why bother with short-sighted social justice at the expense of some talented young actors?

  37. If you’re a libertarian, you should agree with this. People are deciding who they will give their money to.

  38. Fuck Orson Scott Card. Must you really, really go see his movie because you loved his book when you were a kid? Are you just peeing in your pants so bad to see it that you couldn’t possibly care what he stands for, you just need to see some shitty film with Harrison Ford, and so that makes it just fine? Do you really want to support those who would deny others of their rights so you could enjoy a tub of popcorn and some cinematic escapism. Then by all means go see Ender’s Game. Please use any justification that the rights of other human beings is outweighed by your right to be entertained. Oh, and then go tell your gay pals how much you loved the film.

    “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
    ~ Edmund Burke

  39. “You completely ignored my point of he has no money at stake”

    No, I didn’t ignore it; I cast doubt on its accuracy. Presumably, money that he will get if a sequel is made and won’t if a sequel is not made is at stake. If for some reason he does not have such a clause in his deal, he signed a curious deal.

    “OSCs opinion on gay marriage is moot ”

    By being on NOMs board, OSC has worked and continues to work to cost others for their stances on gay marriage. OSC’s work has done damage. Hard to see how that’s moot, just because he will likely lose in the long run. And even if his prediction of the ultimate result in the US is right, NOM has also been working in places where that Constitution does not apply.

  40. @serhend: see the bottom line is that this card guy is screwing with people’s rights on a personal level. these are folks that want to marry who they want and have the same rights as anybody else that’s married. the problem is that when you fuck with people on this personal a level, they tend to get pissed. when people get pissed they tend to go after the person that’s pissing them off. there’s a saying that’s been around for years”don’t start a fight you can’t finish”. card threw his hat in the ring, determined to see that certain people in society would not gain civil rights when it came to marriage equality, actively joining a group, giving money to the cause, helping in lobbying efforts. you said it yourself, card is still on NOM,and NOM sure as shit hasn’t given up the fight, so why should the people that he pissed off back off? will this hurt card in the wallet. nah. will this hurt the cast and crew of the upcoming flick. nah. they’ve all been paid already (depending on the type of contract they signed) and will keep finding work, there’s always another project down the road. now the studio, well that’s another story. but even if this ban doesn’t hurt card in the wallet. so what? what this ban does do is send a message to card that as long as he’s actively going after people’s rights, those same poeple will keep going after him. can’t have it both ways, it’s ok for card to muck with people, but people can’t muck with him.

  41. M.E. Baz says:

    Garry Boldwater, I’m voting for you for president. I don’t care if you’re not running.

  42. When I watch the credits roll at the end of a movie, I’m always amazed at how many people are employed by that one film. I heard that everyone associated/ employed by this film was required to sign a petition against gay marriage and be straight,which is absurd because no one working in the film industry is gay.So the boycott idea is perfect because it will only hurt the wallets of those intolerant/straight/ religious Hollywood types. Especially that really intolerant best boy and Harrison Fords make up guy.

  43. Nat Gertler, thanks for the heads up about NOM’s continuing boycott of Starbucks and General Mills, and various other acts that show NOM isn’t ready to show tolerance for opposing opinions.

  44. “Card is being kept away from the Comic-Con panels for Ender’s Game and probably won’t do any promotion for the film. ”

    Is he keeping himself away, or is it the powers that be that have made his film?

  45. Serhend Sirkecioglu says:

    All the justification of going after OSC is still in that naive vein of “we’ll stick it to the man!” or “He fired the first shot!”…So is it going to pass legislation in a state to legalize same sex marriage? NOM has been exposed by numerous journalists and has been labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a anti-gay group in a political climate where being homophobic is the kiss of death…again what’s the direct correlation to the failure of Ender’s Game and any form of progress for passing gay marriage laws? If you want to kick an old man waving a white flag on the ground, just say so. don’t pretend you’re doing this for a higher cause or this is integral to the fight.

    @ Zach, you should also know that libertarians are also anti-social justice.

  46. It saddens me to do so as a fan of Enders Game but I’m going to sit it out with Geeks Out.

  47. “you should also know that libertarians are also anti-social justice.”

    Social justice sounds like a terrible thing to be against.

  48. George,
    If you can watch performers like Heston and Fonda and not feel that their beliefs get in the way of your appreciating their talents, then I would think you’d fall into the category “not nearly cheesed off enough.”

  49. Ummm, Serhend, he’s not really waving a white flag you realize, not an honest one at least. He’s still on the board of the group that today put out their announcement of a path forward in the fight.

  50. Not sure why that link isn’t working. http://www.nomblog.com/36165

  51. george says:

    “George,
    “If you can watch performers like Heston and Fonda and not feel that their beliefs get in the way of your appreciating their talents, then I would think you’d fall into the category “not nearly cheesed off enough.” ”

    Gene, I just keep repeating: “It’s only a movie. It’s only a movie. It’s only a movie …”

  52. george says:

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  1. [...] Orson Scott Card waves a sullen white flag on gay marriage to thwart ‘Ender’s Game&#8217… (comicsbeat.com) [...]

  2. [...] and geek girls of all sexual orientations to boycott the upcoming $110 million sci-fi epic due to ”Ender’s Game” author Orson Scott Card’s recent anti-Gay marriage sc…I was thinking there might be a picket line, or even some kind of lefty civil disobedience. LGBT [...]

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