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LGBT Advocates Respond To Orson Scott Card's 'Plea For Tolerance'

Ender's Game:Card

Previously, Towleroad has reported on the controversy surrounding the upcoming big-budget film adaptation of Ender's Game, and the subsequent plea for tolerance by the original novel's homophobic author. Now, the LGBT, Geek, and Queer Geek communities are issuing their responses, and none seem very receptive to Orson Scott Card's arguments. 

In his exclusive with Entertainment Weekly, Card (who also happens to be the the great-great grandson of Mormon icon Brigham Young), made several key declarations that many chose to focus on in their responses. First, he claimed that the novel's dystopian future setting exempted it from the "political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984." Second, he declared that the recent Supreme Court rulings render "the gay marriage issue" a moot point. Third, he attempted to turn the tides of "bigotry" upon the very people who were criticizing him:

"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."

Our own Christian Walters had a few things to say in response, as did GeeksOUT, the group behind the "Skip Ender's Game" boycott. As the group was kind enough to point out, "the Bill of Rights protects your freedom of speech but it does not protect your right to a blockbuster opening weekend." They went on to explain...

"This is not and has never been about a much beloved sci-fi novel. Leaving aside the fact that Card thinks gay civil rights didn’t exist in the mid-80s, which is pretty insulting to the post-Stonewall generation frontline against a little something called AIDS—this is about us, here and now. This is about our community refusing to financially support an extreme anti-gay activist. We didn’t read his diary, and we’re not taking dinner table conversation out of context—Orson Scott Card has a very public record of far-right comments against marriage equality as a concept and LGBT folk as human beings." 

Ender's Game PosterThe response then goes on to lift excerpts from Card's decades of anti-gay activism, as well as discredit his argument that LGBT rights are currently a moot point. Meanwhile, Joe My God turned his attention to NOM, the anti-gay hate organization for which Card currently serves as board member. The group released a tweet decrying the fact that, since Card has publicly supported "traditional marriage", he has been added to what is being called the "New Hollywood Blacklist". As Joe was kind enough to point out, the group made no mention of Card's apparent surrender to marriage equality advocates and LGBT rights activists. After all, declaring "the gay marriage issue" moot would apply to both sides of the debate in question. 

Salon chose a slightly different approach, choosing to sift through Card's life and work to analyze precisely why he has become "one of the powerful and influential authors in the industry" as well as "one of the most openly bigoted". The result is an exposé of "he paradoxical mishmash of Cardian beliefs that might provoke some brain-scouring and heated debate among sci-fi fans near you as the buzz for Ender’s Game starts to grow." The piece's writer, Aja Romano, not only pulls highlights from Card's activism, but also sifts for anti-gay subtext in Card's fictional writing, referencing works such as Hamlet's Father, The Homecoming Saga, and Ender in Exile. Romano was also kind enough to delve into Card's hypocritical background in fan fiction, a practice he publicly ridiculed before choosing to engage in it himself. There's also some gay adult Ender's Game fan fiction thrown in for good measure. 

As of now, no comments have been released from Lionsgate, the studio that financed and will be releasing the film, nor have any been released by any member of the cast or crew of the film. As GeeksOUT pointed out in their response "now would be an ideal time". They also summarized their response with a declaration:

"No matter what happens with Skip Ender’s Game, American voters have already rejected Orson Scott Card's and NOM’s extreme anti-gay agenda. Whether they’ll continue to fund it at the box office remains to be seen."

Do you plan on boycotting the film? Is a boycott even necessary or appropriate? Sound off in the comments below...

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  1. A.V. Club had the best write-up:,99915/

    Posted by: Mikey | Jul 10, 2013 8:40:25 PM

  2. I see a major distinction between "SkipEndersGame" and an organized boycott. Most of those who have been involved in SEG so far as I can tell have stated their desire not to fund or support Card by letting him get any of our money through ticket or merchandise revenue. That's different than telling everyone else not to go. An invitation to join the movement is an invitation to consider the ethics and morality of one who will receive money if we buy a ticket and making a decision not to fund him, and to be willing to say why. Some may carry the movement farther--picketing, etc. but I don' really see the value in that. Best to get the word out in a more effective way--as SEG has done--through interviews, social media and buzz.

    Posted by: MKirby | Jul 10, 2013 8:44:45 PM

  3. At 62 years old, I, in my youth, read some of the Enders Game books, once I found out Mr. Cards bigotry I stopped reading his books, even if they were free to read. I will not be viewing his movie, and will encourage others to also not see his movie. Mr. Card has not "repented" of his evil.

    Posted by: Gordon | Jul 10, 2013 8:46:21 PM

  4. It would be stupid to fund hate with our hard earned cash. But I feel like those who care about me should also know. I'm going to post this on my Facebook as a plead to my family and friends to join me in fighting homophobia.

    Posted by: Jay | Jul 10, 2013 9:00:55 PM

  5. What self-respecting gay person would give a penny to Scott Orson Card or any project related to him? It would be like Jews financing Joseph Goebbels. Boycott this movie; boycott his books. Further inform the theaters that propose to host this movie that you're boycotting them. Boycott any company that tries to profit from this movie or any of its spin-off products. Strike this poisonous snake head and tail. Make Scott Orson Card pay dearly for his bigotry. Teach this worthless bastard--and others like him--a lesson they'll never forget.

    Posted by: Jim | Jul 10, 2013 9:11:06 PM

  6. This boycott has gone viral. Way to go GeeksOut.

    Posted by: JONES | Jul 10, 2013 9:18:23 PM

  7. This is Chik-Fil-A all over again.

    Posted by: bambinoitaliano | Jul 10, 2013 9:19:37 PM

  8. And I also want to say to Christian Walters that your notes in rebuttal to OSC in the original post were spot on.

    Posted by: JONES | Jul 10, 2013 9:21:21 PM

  9. I'll just boycott Lionsgate and Summit completely; all of their releases, forever.
    I do the same with all companies that profit from hate and see no reason to make any exception in their case.

    Posted by: nick | Jul 10, 2013 9:30:31 PM

  10. I love boycotts. Is there any way to make a statement more cost-effectively than to stay home and hold onto your money?

    Posted by: Paul | Jul 10, 2013 9:40:51 PM

  11. he never got a cent from me from comics or novels.

    he will never get a cent from me from this movie or any possible sequel.

    Posted by: andrew | Jul 10, 2013 9:44:46 PM

  12. I would have gone, but now knowing it would directly support NOM and other issues that are directed against me personally, I won't. I also don't buy koch brothers products or buy food I considered harmful. I support their right to do what they do, I just don't have to support it.

    Those people only understand their pocketbook.

    Posted by: steve talbert | Jul 10, 2013 9:47:51 PM

  13. I truly love Ender's Game, it was my favorite book in my teenage years, but I could not in good conscience give that man one dime of my money.

    Not at least until he apologizes -- really apologizes -- for his past actions and makes a promise to never fight against LGBT causes again.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jul 10, 2013 10:00:51 PM

  14. So since marriage equality is settled, Card has disbanded NOM and

    Posted by: GreatLakeSailor | Jul 10, 2013 10:01:40 PM

  15. Even before I heard about the writer's extreme homophobia, I was put off by the trailer of this movie.

    Just going by the trailer (I don't know the book), it's supremely stupid that children are more effective in "playing" some military strategy game than adults.
    I also think it's problematic to entertain with children soldiers. How this is something attractive is beyond me.

    Posted by: galore | Jul 10, 2013 10:15:33 PM

  16. I signed the pledge & I will continue to NOT support companies and businesses that are just fine taking money and giving it to homophobic idiots. Frankly (and I said this on geeksout too) the movie doesn't even look that great. And is it really that big of a deal for people to NOT see a movie? I mean really people, it's a movie. Don't waste your money!

    Posted by: Shawn | Jul 10, 2013 10:29:35 PM

  17. To Ryan and GreatLakeSailor - I could not have said it better. I agree 100%


    "I truly love Ender's Game, it was my favorite book in my teenage years, but I could not in good conscience give that man one dime of my money.

    Not at least until he apologizes -- really apologizes -- for his past actions and makes a promise to never fight against LGBT causes again.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jul 10, 2013 10:00:51 PM

    So since marriage equality is settled, Card has disbanded NOM and

    Posted by: GreatLakeSailor | Jul 10, 2013 10:01:40 PM"

    Posted by: Gregg Hierholzer | Jul 10, 2013 10:55:27 PM

  18. i'm seeing the movie, but paying for a different one.

    Posted by: joe | Jul 10, 2013 10:57:10 PM

  19. I thought the novel was a crock of crap, so it won't hurt my feelings to skip the movie.

    Posted by: John Conolley | Jul 10, 2013 11:07:42 PM

  20. Not just apologize. Words are cheap. Actually donate at least 2 million dollars to LGBT causes. One million to a city LGBT youth halfway house alone. THEN write a novel (in his genre)with a gay protagonist. Until then, my mind is closed on the subject of Orson Scott Cad. Not a typo.

    Posted by: Manny Espinola | Jul 10, 2013 11:25:44 PM

  21. I do not support bigots who would see my freedoms taken away. I will not see this movie ever.

    Posted by: Christian | Jul 10, 2013 11:32:07 PM

  22. I want to thank Mr Card for reminding use what old fashion Mormon bigotry is like.
    Thousands of kids thrown into the street by parents who were afraid of being shunned by other Mormons for straighten out their kid.
    Millions of kids bullied in California and elsewhere because they're bullies had heard the Mormon proposition 8 ads
    Who knows how many dead kids who took their own lives

    Posted by: Bob | Jul 10, 2013 11:39:34 PM

  23. Orson Scott Card used to be one of my favorite writers until I found out what a bigot he is. I took all of the beloved books I had of his in my library and destroyed them. We have freedom of speech and he can say whatever he wants. We do not have to be "tolerant" and not answer his bigotry. The answer is to boycott his books, his movies and his comics. We also need to contact publishers, film companies and card himself and tell him what we think of his hate. Somebody with this much homophobia must have some pretty scary skeletons in his closet to act like he does IMHO.

    Posted by: Brad | Jul 11, 2013 12:04:05 AM

  24. It looks like a gay ass movie, a humorless version of Starship Troopers, but I suspect it will do as well as After Earth.

    Posted by: Kev C | Jul 11, 2013 12:37:44 AM

  25. Just like Joe, I plan to buy a ticket to another movie and walk into into Ender's Game (because it really is a great book). That way I see the movie but Card, Lionsgate, etc don't benefit. I also will skip opening weekend to avoid the crowds

    Posted by: Ben | Jul 11, 2013 12:39:15 AM

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