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Boycotts, Bigotry, and Ender's Game: An Editorial

After July,  the Summer Movie season begins its decline, as the attention soon turns to the Fall Movie Season, and more importantly, which films will be making a run during Awards Season. Of course, there are still blockbusters which studios are eager to release, such as Disney/Marvel's Thor: The Dark World and Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, both due out this November, but they are, for the most part, shelved for a holiday release. One of the more anticipated films coming out during this time is Ender's Game, the popular science-fiction novel by Orson Scott Card, now getting the big-screen treatment by Summit Entertainment, no doubt betting the movie will be a gateway to making another franchise that will make Twilight/Harry Potter-like bank at the box office.Unfortunately, the film is in the midst of controversy and negative press. Not for the film, nor the book on which it is based, but for the author himself.

You see, Card has made statements regarding the LGBT community in year's past; most of it negative, all of it considered bigoted and homophobic by today's standards. The gay activist group, Geek Out are asking fans of sci-fi, movie-goers and others to join with them and boycott the upcoming release of the film by refusing to see the big-screen adaptation. I was going to make a list of all the inflammatory remarks OSC has made about gays, but Salon beat me to the punch.

1990: Card argued that states should keep sodomy laws on the books in order to punish unruly gays–presumably implying that the fear of breaking the law ought to keep most gay men in the closet where they belonged.
2004: He claimed that most homosexuals are the self-loathing victims of child abuse, who became gay “through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse.”
2008: In 2008, Card published his most controversial anti-gay screed yet, in the Mormon Times, where he argued that gay marriage “marks the end of democracy in America,” that homosexuality was a “tragic genetic mixup,” and that allowing courts to redefine marriage was a slippery slope towards total homosexual political rule and the classifying of anyone who disagreed as “mentally ill:”
The story also states OSC joined the Nation Organization for Marriage back in 2009. If that name sounds familiar to you, that's because said organization was behind California's Prop 8 legislation just one year previous to Card becoming a member. In these kinds of stories, where we learn what a less-than admirable individual a celebrity or famous talent is, the inevitable response is that we need to recognize the accomplishments said individual has contributed to his craft, and Card is no exception: He won the John W. Campbell for Best New Writer in 1978, the Nebula Award for Ender's Game in 1985, and again in 1986 for it's sequel, Speaker for the Dead, along with the Hugo award for Ender's - he's the only author to have won both awards in back to back years.

To a point, the naysayers who are asking us to separate the art from the artist, are right.

The simple truth is that bad people can and still make great contributions to their profession. Take Michael Jackson as an example. Yes he was accused of molesting little boys numerous times, and even admitted that he slept in the same bed with underage boys, but I think we can agree that the pop music scene would be radically different without him around. One of my favorite directors, Roman Polanski, is a sick, depraved child fucker, but his contributions to cinema, almost need no praise or reminder. Tom Cruise is a part of a brainwashing cult that takes it's cues from a science fiction writer, and I still see him as one of our greatest actors around. Eventually you do have to move on and recognize the man's contributions to his genre, even after you've learned all these things.

The problem here is that this man has had a long, documented history of being a hateful, unashamed bigot, and really has made no bones about what he is, even going as far to say that we should tolerate how much of a bigoted asshole he is, and the issue of gay rights is something i'm very passionate about. I don't blame anyone for wanting to go see this movie when it's released in November, and equally cant find fault for anyone who chooses to not pay cinema prices to a homophobe. Everyone has their own line they draw in the proverbial sand.


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