Harrison Ford | Orson Scott Card | San Diego

'Ender's Game' Sparks Same-Sex Marriage Debates At Comic-Con

Comic-Con Panel

Yesterday in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con, the Q&A session for Ender's Game got right to the point about the controversy surrounding the film. The very first fan to the mic asked, "There’s actually been a lot of controversy about the author of the book. How involved was he in making the film?” 

The film's producer, Roberto Orci, responded,

"Obviously, we were first concerned with anyone who might be hurt by anything we were associated with. But we’ve decided to use the attention to … completely and unequivocally support Lionsgate and Summit’s statement in defense of LGBT rights.”

The room broke out in applause.

Not to sound ungrateful for explicit support, but answering the question of "How involved was he?" with "We support our studio's statement of defense for gays," doesn't actually answer her question. Like, at all. Additionally, and I freely admit that this is a nit-pick, saying "We support our studio's statement" rather than making one of your own feels a bit half-assed in terms of support.

Wired has a pretty thorough analysis of the event and the boycott. It includes Milk writer Dustin Lance Black's puzzling declaration that the boycott "is a waste of our collective energy,” and director Gavin Hood questioning the disconnect between the themes of compassion and empathy in the book and Card's real-world views of hateful intolerance. 

Over at Huffington Post, they have Harrison Ford commenting on the controversy with, 

"I don't think that issue rears its head in the work. No part of the story concerns Mr. Card's theories about society in terms of gay issues or homosexual issues."

Which is a complete misdirection. As I pointed out the other day, the boycott is protesting Card himself, not the content of the film.

It's uncertain if the positive reaction at Comic-Con will translate into support for the boycott, but to have an entire hall of con attendees applaud in support of LGBT rights is an encouraging sign that cretins like Card are on their way out.

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  1. This is not about content. It is about the money trail (royalties and where that money ends up). I'm not about to shot myself in the foot. Ender's game boycott lives on.

    Posted by: Jay | Jul 19, 2013 7:41:01 PM

  2. Hi! My name is Randy. I've written several books that have become very popular and would make excellent movies. I have a strong fan base across the US and internationally.

    I'm also anti-semitic and a member of the KKK and I believe all jews should be sent to Israel where they belong and that Hitler was on to something when he decided to exterminate them all. But that won't be a hinderance to you buying the rights to my book and have me listed as a producer, right?

    Posted by: Randy | Jul 19, 2013 7:41:17 PM

  3. The best take that I heard on this is still for everyone who wants to see the movie to see it, but to donate twice the price of the ticket to a gay rights organization. That will be a lot more money than Orson Scott Card will ever see from your one ticket.

    Posted by: RonCharles | Jul 19, 2013 8:25:37 PM

  4. It'll just make all the homophobes go see it in massive numbers ....remember the Basic Instinct boycott, losers???

    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Jul 19, 2013 8:49:12 PM

  5. The gay rights organizations are all corrupt and lazy...GLAAD and HRC prove that...

    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Jul 19, 2013 8:51:11 PM

  6. OSC will never see a penny of my money no matter how friggin' glorious his movie may be. Period. The End.

    Posted by: Geoff | Jul 19, 2013 9:13:05 PM

  7. I don't blame the actors. I am sure they didn't and haven't delved into Card's history and bigotry. I think they surmise he was just against gay marriage and don't know the exact hateful words he has used through the years. I suspect, they have only read his apology....I do, though, believe the producer, et al, knew what they were getting into, since I am sure they researched everything. I DO NOT believe in censorship, and have no problems with the movie being made and released, however, my money will not be spent to support Card's bigoted ways.

    Posted by: CB | Jul 19, 2013 9:20:56 PM

  8. Declining to se this movie and give Orson Scott Card any money is not censorship.

    Dustin Lance Black is a disgrace. But saying so is not censorship.

    Likewise pointing out that Harrison Ford is an idiot.

    Not censorship.

    And neither is encouraging all LGBTs who have so much as a shred of self-respect to avoid this movie.


    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jul 19, 2013 9:44:47 PM

  9. "No part of the story concerns Mr. Card's theories about society in terms of gay issues or homosexual issues."

    Frankly, I'm not so sure of that. Could the story be an allegory of fighting against gays imagined as alien attackers? There's nothing saying it can't be, and some clues saying it could be.

    Posted by: Kev C | Jul 19, 2013 9:48:12 PM

  10. Sadly, I think the applause was an indication that Liongate's statement was good enough for the audience to feel that they could attend the movie in good conscience.

    Not a good sign.

    Though I still hope the film has a devastatingly bad opening weekend, I'm not sure it will happen.

    Posted by: Vint | Jul 19, 2013 10:00:00 PM

  11. If this thing does good business more of his books will be sold and more will be made into movies
    Every gay person should tell his friends and family that he would like them not to attend

    Posted by: Bob | Jul 19, 2013 10:13:49 PM

  12. If this thing does good business more of his books will be sold and more will be made into movies
    Every gay person should tell his friends and family that he would like them not to attend

    Posted by: Bob | Jul 19, 2013 10:13:50 PM

  13. At the end of the day what I'm boycotting is Orson Scott Card. I don't care about the movie, the actors, the studio, the director, or the fans. I have no beef with any of that. But I've got to believe Card's deal with the studio is structured such that the more successful the movie, the more he get's paid for the rights, and I'm unwilling to contribute to his personal success. And if that's just me, so be it.

    Posted by: Keppler | Jul 19, 2013 10:19:11 PM

  14. This is so stupid. It's one thing to boycott a company like Chick Fil A for funding hate, but we shouldn't be boycotting art, movies, or literature because of something the director or writer did.

    Seeing Enders Game does not mean I support Orson Scott Card's homophobic views.

    I've enjoyed Braveheart and several of Mel Gibson's other movies, despite him being a Holocaust denying antisemitic nut job. I enjoyed Chinatown despite the fact that Roman Polanski raped an underage girl. Learn to separate the art from the artist.

    Posted by: OP | Jul 19, 2013 10:29:29 PM

  15. Agreed op!!

    Posted by: Matt | Jul 19, 2013 10:51:05 PM

  16. he has the opportunity to make millions off producing this film, which in turn can be then used to support nom's campaign of bigotry and intolerance. while he has the right to his opinions everyone else has the say right to boycott the film. Why give money to the enemy ? It is like making a contribution to the salvation army.
    I have heard Dustin Lance Black several times but on this issue i think he totally wrong

    Posted by: walter | Jul 19, 2013 10:57:04 PM

  17. No. Russia. (a country I will never visit again)
    No. Iran (see dead fags hanging from cranes)
    No. See how the US abandoned gay men during HIV/AIDS during the
    80s/90s and continue to do so

    Orson Scott Card calls for the criminalization of you, fags, reading this blog.

    I'm a fag and proudly so and for those who say what does it matter on this whole "orson scott card is allowed to believe in a religion that is a cult" well, then I have nothing left to say.

    Posted by: ArkArk | Jul 19, 2013 11:01:56 PM

  18. Orson Scott Card IS a vicious homophobe, and the idea of enriching him with a single dime or dollar should repugnant to anyone who supports gay rights, which apparently these filmmakers don't support.

    Posted by: Kev C | Jul 19, 2013 11:12:49 PM

    --- Sorry, but you are DUMB or you are just 3 lawn jockeys.

    The best thing that could happen is that Card's movie fails to make money for the studio due to Gays and their friends and families boycotting it.

    IF THE MOVIE IS A BOX OFFICE DOG, CARD LOSES POWER AND MONEY and studios will be wary of his other books

    Posted by: Bob | Jul 19, 2013 11:32:56 PM

  20. Oh, fvck you, Alan Brickman and "OP." "Activism doesn't achieve anything, so why bother?" Isn't that basically what you're saying?

    Actually activism DOES achieve things or we wouldn't have ANY rights. Where we are right now was built on the actions of those who came before us, people standing up for their rights, sometimes in the face of what seemed at the time to be insurmountable odds. So take your apathy and shove it straight up your @ss.

    It would be one thing if the boycott against Orson Scott Card was merely about Political Correctness or there were some shades of gray to it. But it really IS black and white! Orson Scott Card thinks gay people should face legal consequences for BEING gay, up to and including prison sentences. He also thinks that being gay is synonymous with molesting children. If you are gay then ipso facto you're just waiting for your big chance to fondle (at best) a child!

    But now he has a big budget movie coming out so he claims that whatever he has said or done in the past is "moot." Not only that, but that if you hold his past words and actions against him, it's YOU who is being intolerant of HIM! According to OSC, WE are being unfair when all he ever said was we deserve jail sentences and secretly want to screw children!

    Posted by: Caliban | Jul 19, 2013 11:50:10 PM

  21. Ooooh no. Don't let it fool you. These are nerds, and the only thing that overshadows a nerds persecution complex is his sense of entitlement when it comes to his/her nerdly interests. They prefer to pretend that we live in a world where everything is solved or solvable. Like Star Trek only more unrealistic.

    Crappy kiddy sci-fi will trump doing the right thing to most of these people, especially the ones who don't have an education beyond STEM.

    Posted by: brandon h | Jul 20, 2013 12:44:45 AM

  22. Apparently I haven't quite vented my spleen enough.

    What *really* p!sses me off is that according to the mainstream media the ONLY thing Orson Scott Card did is say he was against gay marriage! So it's vindictive and petty for gay people to hold that simple "difference of opinion" against him.

    Never mind that he's waged a decade-long war against any gay rights at all, said that being gay should be criminalized, and that how gay people "reproduce" is by molesting children to increase our numbers. He also sits on the Board of NOM, the best known anti gay marriage equality organization in the US.

    But most articles keep trying to reduce why we're boycotting to some picayune, whiny issue. "Gays threaten boycott because author is against gay marriage."

    Being "against gay marriage" is the LEAST of Orson Scott Card's offenses against the dignity of gay people. I really don't appreciate it being reduced to "just" that. In comparison to the other hateful things he's written/said that's WAY down on the list! "Gay sex should be criminalized! By prison sentences if need be! Gay people can't reproduce so they molest children to swell their ranks!"

    But gays are being "intolerant" of HIS views? How very mean of us!

    Posted by: Caliban | Jul 20, 2013 1:07:48 AM

  23. This press conference Q&A was the closest thing I've seen to "Baghdad Bob" since the Iraq war.

    Orson Scott Card had nothing to do with this movie. He is not one of the producers. He did not write the story. We didn't pay him a cent. All is well. We are winning.

    Posted by: Kev C | Jul 20, 2013 1:20:21 AM

  24. @Calliban

    Chill man, you clearly didn't listen to what I said and had an emotional gut reaction.

    I am all for activism, boycott Google for giving money to anti gay senators like Jim Inhofe. Boycott Chick Fil A for funding hate groups. But don't boycott an artist.

    Even if this boycott is successful in derailing the film, it isn't going to make that big of an impact.

    If ender's game was a record breaking box office hit, it might gross about $2 or $3 billion world wide. That might sound like a lot, but it's split between several people including theater owners, the studios, and other several other producers.

    Compare that $2-3 billion in revenue $400 billion ExxonMobil took in last year. Exxon takes that money and donates millions to anti gay politicians all over the country. They also discriminate against gays in their hiring policies. That's 70,000+ jobs denied to people because they are gay.

    It's a question of priorities. BOYCOTT CORPORATIONS NOT ARTISTS!!!!

    Posted by: OP | Jul 20, 2013 1:21:43 AM

  25. OP, I personally hope "Ender's Game" is a critical and a miserable box office failure.

    But even if it isn't, every person who DOESN'T see it is still money lost, so don't devalue an individual's influence. It's beside the point what Exxon does, this is about Orson Scott Card.

    So we're supposed to respect Orson Scott Card is an "artist," which makes him above criticism somehow? A lot of people seem to admire the book "Ender's Game" so I will assume that at some point he did have something to offer. But then at some point his creative output festered and became something else. He's a science fiction author, but the simple idea that two people of the same gender might be attracted to each other is beyond his imaginative abilities?

    At the very least it's a failure of imagination that he can't even conceive of how that might be possible. It's truly godd@mn offensive that he's dedicated a large part of his time to oppose gay rights in any form. He might have been an artist before, but now he's just another reactionary piece of sh!t.

    I have my own personal opinion of what motivates his animus, but only time can prove me right or wrong.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jul 20, 2013 2:04:41 AM

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