Should We Boycott ‘Ender’s Game’ Due to Orson Scott Card’s Homophobia?

Credit: Summit Entertainment

Orson Scott Card has already come under serious fire for his open opposition to marriage equality, and his generally homophobic comments. The Ender’s Game author wrote a controversial piece in Mormon Times on the subject and is on the board of the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex unions. In response to Card’s views, a small online group called GEEKS Out launched an initiative to have people boycott the upcoming film adaptation of Ender’s Game

In response to this movement and in light of the recent Supreme Court rulings on same sex marriage, the bestselling author has spoken out once again: “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,” Card said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly, “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.”

The way we see it, there are two sides to this movie boycott issue. On the one hand, it’s a real shame that Ender’s Game fans are missing the opportunity to watch their beloved characters come to life on the big screen, or that they’re being made to feel guilty for going to see the movie. After all, the film doesn’t espouse or even begin to address Card’s ideas about homosexuality. On the other hand, it’s pretty disturbing that the creator of this story is a proponent of antiquated anti-sodomy laws and once claimed that “many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse” and “many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally.” 

How much should Orson Scott Card’s comments impact our decision to see (or not to see) Ender’s Game? After all, Lars von Trier made some off-putting comments about being able to “understand Hitler,” but he’s still an undoubtedly brilliant and successful filmmaker. And despite the homophobic controversy surrounding the president of Chick-fil-A, people are still flocking to the fast-food chain for some delicious, cholesterol-filled, heart attack-inducing chicken nuggets. But can we really put money into the pockets of such controversial figures and still have peace of mind? By buying these products, whether they be movie tickets or fried chicken, are we actually supporting agendas that we philosophically disagree with? Is there even an answer to these questions?

Ender’s Game is a 1985 science fiction novel about a boy drafted into military school to fight an alien invasion in an apocalyptic future. The upcoming adaptation stars Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, and Abigail Breslin. With the film’s November release date approaching and this extra fuel added to the fire, it will be interesting to see how Orson Scott Card’s political opinions affect the movie’s box office performance and publicity campaign.

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