Let Me Catch You Up On This Ender’s Game Anti-Gay Controversy

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Ender's Game Harrison Ford Asa ButterfieldUp until today, I'd heard little bits and pieces about this Ender's Game controversy, but nothing ever struck my ear enough to encourage me to get super-invested. My knowledge of the situation so far had just been that Orson Scott Card, the writer of the book from which the movie is adapted, is a pretty big homophobe, and he don't care who knows it! And it turns out that that's true, but there are a few more layers of complexity to it than that, so I figured now might be the right time to catch myself up on all of it and loop you in as well. Are you ready to accompany me down the dark twisted road of bigotry and how it relates to a summer science fiction blockbuster? You are? Well that's just perfect. Right this way, for Some Facts About The Ender's Game Controversy With Orson Scott Card.

Let me say beforehand that if you hate gay people and you love science fiction, you are made in the shade. Don't even bother reading the rest of this post, because it doesn't apply to you, and you have absolutely nothing to stress about. You and Orson Scott Card are on precisely the same page. Congratulations! If you don't hate gay people and do love science fiction, I'm sorry. This road will be more complicated for you. Godspeed.

Who is Orson Scott Card anyway?
I'm glad you asked! He's a science fiction writer responsible for the Ender's Game series, which will be coming out in its movie form on November 1st, 2013. In his spare time, he's also an avid disliker of the LGBTQ crowd, for obvious reasons like “I have a closed mind” and “I'm a Mormon” and stuff. He even went pro with his amateur bigotry hobby by taking a seat on the board of the National Organization for Marriage, which was one of the leading groups fighting against the legalization of gay marriage. Sorry suckers!

But I liked Ender's Game!
Hey me too! I didn't even know about all this homophobic stuff until after I finished the book, so it either wasn't super flagrant or I totally misinterpreted what he meant by ‘buggers'.

So what should I do about it?
Whatever you like! Some people have decided to boycott the film in protest of OSC's very vocal views, and some people have decided to see it anyway because this guy doesn't need any more attention than he's already received. Plus, there are a ton of other people involved in the movie who have put a lot of time and energy into it who have absolutely no negative feelings about gay people at all. Should they really be punished for OSC's views? That's your call, since I'm not sure one way or the other, but here's what the gay organization Geeks Out thinks the answer is:

“Do not buy a ticket at the theater, do not purchase the DVD, do not watch it on-demand. Ignore all merchandise and toys. However much you may have admired his books, keep your money out of Orson Scott Card’s pockets.”

So we definitely know how they feel about it! However, to see the movie or not is a personal choice, and I think it's a bit of a stretch to say that seeing this movie makes you a homophobe, or a supporter of homophobic behavior. Orson Scott Card does more enough of that on his own, so make your own decisions.

What does Lionsgate have to say about all of this?
As you may or may not know, Lionsgate is the studio releasing the film, and they've made a pretty serious effort to distance themselves from the book's author in light of all the backlash. Their official statement is that while they “obviously [do] not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card and those of the National Organization for Marriage,” those views are “completely irrelevant to a discussion of the movie.” They've distanced themselves from the author by leaving him off the Comic Con panel, citing the movie as ‘based on a worldwide bestseller' with no mention of his name, and promised to donate proceeds from the premiere to an LGBTQ charity. True, they didn't take any of these steps until after the public outcry, but it is nice to see a studio standing with human rights instead of siding with ignorance, right?

Bottom line?
Do what you think is right. Maybe you decide it's a waste of energy to spend time worrying about this largely irrelevant public figure's outdated views, or maybe you decide to take a stand and boycott the movie. Either way, here's the trailer.

I trust you to make the right decision. Unless that decision is to be a homophobe, in which I trust you to make the decision to go live in a hole.