I’m sure a lot of you have already decided you’re going to wait for Ender’s Game to show up on cable. In case you hadn’t, here are some quotes of his alarming, racist rant about the Obama administration.
Ender’s Game author Orson Scott Card is more than an 'opponent' of marriage equality. As a writer, he has spread degrading lies about LGBT people, calling us sexual deviants and criminals. As an activist, he sat on the board of the National Organization for Marriage and campaigned against our civil rights. Now he's a producer on the Ender's Game movie. Do not let your box-office dollars fuel his anti-gay agenda. SKIP ENDER'S GAME.
“So if [they] insist on calling what they do "marriage," they are not turning their relationship into what my wife and I have created, because no court has the power to change what their relationship actually is.
Instead they are attempting to strike a death blow against the well-earned protected status of our, and every other, real marriage.
They steal from me what I treasure most, and gain for themselves nothing at all. They won't be married. They'll just be playing dress-up in their parents' clothes.”
— Orson Scott Card, “Homosexual ‘Marriage’ and Civilization,” 2004
Orson Scott Card, author of the 1985 novel Ender’s Game and a credited producer on Lionsgate’s upcoming film adaptation, has a long, ugly history as an anti-gay extremist. From 2009 to 2013 he was a board member of the National Organization for Marriage, lending his support to a group tied directly to Prop 8 in California and other anti-equality activism across the country and around the world. In 2008 he swore, “[r]egardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down.”
The LGBT community cannot afford to support bigotry and extremism like Orson Scott Card’s. We are calling upon queer geeks and our allies to skip Ender’s Game. As producer, Card enjoys profit participation on every movie ticket, every toy and tie-in, every DVD or VOD purchased. Do not let your money finance his anti-gay agenda.
In 1990, he advocated the criminalization of homosexuality, arguing, “those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.” He then demanded tolerance when public outcry over his lies and insults threatened his would-be blockbuster.
Orson Scott Card has every right to express his opinions, but absolutely no right to our money. If you do not share his views and his extreme agenda, do not support them by buying a ticket to Ender’s Game. It matters that we and our allies stand up as a community against a homophobe looking to profit from our geekiness while attacking our rights and degrading our humanity.
Lionsgate is a pro-LGBT company and Ender’s Game director Gavin Hood and members of the cast have gone on-record as favoring gay rights and marriage equality. Why attack them?
We’re not attacking anyone. Skip Ender’s Game is about keeping the money you, I, and our friends work hard to earn from going to Orson Scott Card’s antigay activism. If you buy a ticket to Ender’s Game, he gets money—he’s the book’s author and a producer on the film. Moreover, both he and Lionsgate have used the F-word: “Franchise.” They want a sequel, which means another big payday for anti-gay Orson Scott Card—with our money.
A boycott such as Skip Ender’s Game can’t retroactively affect the pay of the film’s cast and crew, which is not based on box office sales. Those profits go to the studio, producers, and Card. The hard work of the film’s cast and crew can be admired and recognized in numerous ways that do not financially benefit Orson Scott Card.
It’s great that Lionsgate and the creative team behind the film have publicly rejected Card’s and NOM’s views. They could have done that at any time, but it was only after bad publicity threatened to overshadow the film’s push at SDCC 2013 that either Lionsgate or Card addressed the issue publicly. Their promise of hosting some sort of LGBT benefit can be read as both generous and calculating. It does not change the fact that Orson Scott Card gets a piece of every dollar the film makes. Decide for yourself whether they should be your dollars.
How is the movie anti-gay? Isn’t this censorship?
Aside from the invading aliens’ being called “Buggers” and some questionably homoerotic tension in the story, Ender’s Game is not an anti-gay story and does not reflect Card’s hateful beliefs. Our issue is not with the book itself or the content of the movie. Skip Ender’s Game is about preventing our community from inadvertently funding one of its biggest enemies. It’s about what we do with our money.
Were we trying to stop the film from being shown, or to remove the book from shelves, that would be censorship. Declining to participate and inviting our community to skip the movie is not. They have every right to try and sell it, but we don’t have to buy it.
The book is available in libraries and used bookstores, which don’t financially benefit Card. If you’ve been waiting all your life to see a movie version of Ender’s Game, just wait a little longer. The movie will be out on cable soon enough. You can also borrow DVDs for free from most libraries.
Orson Scott Card recently stepped down from the board of NOM. Why are you still boycotting?
While it seems like the end of an era for hate groups like NOM, Orson Scott Card conveniently stepping down from the board doesn’t erase years of activism and damage to LGBT families. Though he no longer sits on the board of NOM, he could still be quite active within the group, and may continue to support them financially.
Regardless of what Card continues to do, Skip Ender’s Game is more about what we as a community do with our position in the pop culture marketplace. Neither Lionsgate nor Orson Scott Card can reasonably expect the LGBT community and our friends to overlook the facts and give over our money to someone who has time and again fought against our civil rights.
What about donating money to pro-LGBT groups when buying a ticket to Ender’s Game? Couldn’t we turn this into something positive?
We are! Geeks OUT is hosting Skip Ender’s Game events on Friday, November 1st in cities across the country. Check the list or our Facebook page to find one in your city or start your own! All Geeks OUT Skip Ender’s Game events will benefit local LGBT organizations in each city.
If you really want to donate money to a pro-LGBT group, do it!
Orson Scott Card said the gay marriage question is “moot” based on the Supreme Court rulings. Harrison Ford seemed to agree, saying it was clear “humanity has won.” Many indicators show the tide turning toward marriage equality. Is it moot?
Absolutely not! There are 37 states in the country where gay marriage is fully illegal. In 29, you can be fired from your job for being gay. In Indiana, it’s now a crime for a same-sex couple even to apply for a marriage license. As great as it is to hear wealthy, famous heterosexuals call the gay marriage issue settled-and-done, it doesn’t really work that way. Recent victories in state legislatures and the Supreme Court did not change the world overnight. Anti-gay activism, even violence, remains a national and global issue. It may look like the home stretch here, but we cannot mistake that for a victory lap.
Geeks OUT rallies, empowers, and promotes the queer geek community. Find us at geeksout.org.