I have never read Ender’s Game, though I’m frequently told that I must / should: it is supposed to be a genre-defying book, one which begins a fantastic series, but I’ve just never gotten round to it. Perhaps the main reason for that is the writer – Orson Scott Card – about whom I’ve always heard some negative things.
I do have his ‘How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy’ book, as do I own Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus. Both of them were interesting reads, though I doubt I could go back to them in light of what I am about to share.
The Queer Geek group Geeks Out have created a website inviting people to not watch the first big budget movie which is being made about one of Card’s books, Ender’s Game. Geeks Out support and promotes the rights and issues of LGBTQ geeks, people who Geek Pride also greatly support, and so their words have some weight when they encourage people to avoid the film. (Note: I would have signed the pledge but it requires a US Zip code, meaning I don’t want to skew the results by being fraudulent. Please, though, sign it if you’re an awesome American-type person.)
It was only through this campaign that I heard what Card has said about the LGBTQ community in the past. Below are some comments:
“Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.”
— Orson Scott Card, “The Hypocrites of Homosexuality,” Sunstone Magazine, Feb 1990
“That a few individuals suffer from tragic genetic mixups does not affect the differences between genetically distinct males and females.” — Orson Scott Card, “State job is not to redefine marriage”, Deseret News, July 2008
“Those who claim that there is “no danger” and that homosexuals are born, not made, are simply stating their faith.
The dark secret of homosexual society — the one that dares not speak its name — is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally.” — Orson Scott Card, “Homosexual “Marriage” and Civilization”, The Rhinocerous Times, Feb 2004
Recently, there was also controversy when Card was brought in to write for Superman, as the LGBTQ community rallied against one of the icons of the Comics Industry being written by a man with clearly vile views against their community. This outcry caused artist Chris Sprouse to leave the project, putting the issue in question at risk of never being published.
Card and his movie studio are clearly nervous that the same outcry might affect the blockbuster Ender’s Game. He issued the following statement to Entertainment Weekly:
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.
Freedom of Speech is an enshrined right of all human beings, as is the freedom to believe what you want. If you want to hold anti-LGBTQ beliefs and talk about them loudly then you have every right to. What you do not have the right to do is not face the consequences of your actions, and the reaction against Card as an unrepentant homophobe should be that people condemn and boycott his work.
As such, Geek Pride are delighted to announce that, after this post, we will not be posting trailers for, reviewing or even mentioning the Ender’s Game film. It will not exist as far as we’re concerned, and I personally will certainly not pay to see it. We fervently hope that you consider boycotting the film as well, sending a clear message that the consequences of going ON RECORD as saying LGBTQ people are ‘tragic genetic mixups’ is a massive fuck you from the open, wonderful and vibrant Geek community.