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…


  1. MKirby says

    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.

  2. Gordon says

    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.

  3. Jay says

    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.

  4. Jim says

    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.

  5. nick says

    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.

  6. steve talbert says

    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.

  7. Ryan says

    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.

  8. galore says

    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.

  9. Shawn says

    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!

  10. says

    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 resigned…no?

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

  11. says

    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.

  12. Bob says

    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

  13. Brad says

    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.

  14. Ben says

    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

  15. RonCharles says

    An on-line journalist had a great idea. Go see “Ender’s Game” if you want. Then, make a donation for twice the price of a movie ticket to a gay rights organization. One could give to The Human Rights Campaign, The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation,
    The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network or Freedom To Marry. After all, there are more people involved in this film than just bigoted Mormon Scott Card.

  16. andy says

    I mean I’m not going to see it but I never was. If this is your type of thing, at least bootleg it so you’re not lining the pockets of bigots.

  17. Tom Chicago says

    Mr. Card needs to just hold his horses. The issue of marriage is still very much “in dispute”, and he is very gentle with himself in characterizing our differences as mere disagreements. He seems to expect that this is going to merely blow over, like some small faux pas made in the 60’s. Wishful thinking. He was not nearly so sporting about the bludgeoning he was dishing out not so long ago.

  18. Daniella Isaacs says

    Well, if it turns out to look really, really good I might just be tempted to go to the multiplex, buy a ticket to some low budget indie film playing at around the same time that needs some extra support and… who knows… maybe I’ll end up in the “wrong” auditorium. No. I’d never do that. I don’t think…

  19. Daniella Isaacs says

    Well, it might just be tempting… assuming the movie gets good reviews and ends up looking really good… to go to the theatre, buy a ticket to some OTHER film playing there (ideally a low budget indie film that needs the support), and then just… well who knows what auditorium I’d wind up in. After all, I’ve accidentally gone into the wrong auditorium before.

  20. Bob says

    @Daniella —ONLY if you stand up halfway into the movie and start shouting “Mormon bigot causes children to be bullied and lives to be damaged” at the top of your lungs
    — otherwise, you are just a clever whore

  21. Bob says

    @ RonCharles – sorry, TERRIBLE IDEA!

    The bigot wins if the movie gets good box office –more of his crap will get filmed, at a higher fee to him. That is how Hollywood works.

    — is selling out your brothers and sisters worth the enjoyment you would get from one movie?

  22. Reggie777 says

    Does anyone know why a star of Harrison Ford’s caliber decided to support this movie? Someone of his gravitas certainly can pick, choose, and refuse projects at will.

  23. DannyEastVillage says

    Card will turn out to be gay as did homophobic writer Bret Easton Ellis. No wonder Dante considered traitors to be the lowest form of scum..oh, I mean, traitor.

  24. Kev C says

    If anyone wants to see the movie, wait a week until it’s on The Pirate Bay, and show your support for uTorrent and fileshare sites like TPB.

    But I predict it’s going to be a sucky movie filled with mindless violence and pointless SFX. Screenplay and directed by Gavin Hood, of X-Men: Wolverine fame – the most turgid and dull X-Men movie ever. How they got Harrison Ford on board really is a mystery.

  25. HankNYC says

    It is about education at this point. Exposing this Bigot for who he is. When you agree to disagree – both sides walk away (this is tolerance). The Anti-gay extremists don’t walk away – they walk over. Work to make our lives miserable by trying to take away our very right to even exist. We need to make sure we expose every bigot at every turn – show the animus that is based soley on fear, hate and ignorance.

    Not only will I not attend this movie but nothing of this Bigot will get a cent of my hard earned cash. I will also make sure that all within the sound of my voice and reach of my email circle of friends know the Bigot for what he is.

  26. GMB says

    WARNING — this could absolutely backfire. As some of the other commentators have noted, a Chik-Fil-A scenario could develop if this generates too much hubbub. If a boycott gains a lot of attention, the Jesus fundies will staget their own counter-protest telling all their faithful followers to flock to this movie, guaranteeing it a big box office bingo.

    I agree that we should spread the word amongst LGBT folks, but if we fan these flames too highly, they’ll burn us.

  27. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says

    When I was in college I used to look forwards to his next book coming-out, but once his ugly bigotry was exposed I’ve thrown all his books away from my extensive collection of SciFi paperbacks…and as much as I’d love to see the move, I’m going to refrain.

    No ticket-sales for-you, Mr. Card.
    It’s a choice, mine!

  28. ratbastard says

    Orson Scott Card is a piece of work, as they say, where I come from.

    LGBT, Geek, and Queer Geek communities? Who comes up with stuff? Anything to differentiate and split people up. How far can pigeon holing human beings go?

  29. Makayla says

    Although I don’t share Mr. Card’s point of view when it comes to gay rights, I would like to point out that this is supposedly of free country where both opinions should be respected. Now, anyone who has read Ender’s Game will tell you. The book is genius. It is, with out doubt my favourite and most treasured book and it never even brushes the subject of gay rights. Love and sexual relationships at all are avoided in this novel. It is ,after all, the beauty of his character. Ender doesn’t go looking for the love of his life, he doesn’t crave it. He simply lives on. Contempt about living his life and turning every rock as he comes by it. And so, as the story line includes no reference to gay rights(point them to me if I am wrong) what so ever I see no point in boycotting the movie. In fact, people should be mature enough to give credit where credit is due. And if you are going to argue that homophobic would boycott a gay man’s movie, well then I would just like to point out that your reasoning is one of a four year old. If marriage equality passes, it will not be due to boycotts and blackmails. If marriage equality passes, it will be due to the change in societies mentality, such thing that can not be accomplished by keeping a man from writing a screen play(superman) or by making money, his living, by taking to the big screen one of the best novels of all time.

    Here is how I see it. Whether you agree with Orson scott Card or not, is beside the point. If you really want to pick a fight, go and argue over his twitter. or send him a letter. But Ender’s Game is a work of Genius, and boycotting it would be like telling a homophobic mozart that you refuse to listen to his piece because he has willingly exercised his right to share his opinion. Not only that, but Orson Scott Card is a mormon and you have free right to practice your religion, even if your religion supports a stupid thing such as no marriage equality.
    But genius is genius, and the younger generation, the one I am from, has no idea what Ender’s Game is. They’ve never read it, never even heard of it. All they hear well told the words “Ender’s Game” is “Hungers game?, which is a horrible book. This movie needs to come out and be a hit so that millions of teens will finally understand what is a good book.

    Fight for your right LGBT, but not by taking away other peoples’.

    P.s for the idiot that said giving a single penny to Orson scott card would be like a jew giving money to the Nazis, I would just like to point out that until the day Orson comes out and starts killing you off one by one, such accusation should be kept to yourself as it only makes you sound like an idiot. And just to point out, even if Orson disagrees with Marriage equality, he accepts gays in society. Hell, he even has gay friends of his own.

  30. says

    Guys are really worked up over this. Here is a simple breakdown.

    *You can see the movie and still be a good person.
    *you can boycott the movie and be a good person.
    *You can see the movie and offset your guilt by donating to something and still be a good person.
    *You can sneak or steal the movie and still be a good person.

    So worked up when all the options lead to the same result, you are more than the sum of your interests and actions.

  31. Steve says

    Why waste time worrying about an idiot bigot and a movie based on a 28-year-old book? I’d rather go well over this guy’s head focus my energies on our 3 branches of government where we can actually accomplish things.

  32. Jayce says

    I sure hope that there are also attempts from the same groups to have the boycott reach international attention. While a boycott attempt may prove successful in the US, the film can always be marketed elsewhere where it can topple movie earnings coming from its own country (that has happened so many times) One thing’s for sure…I ain’t watching it.

  33. Jayce says

    Makayla, bless your heart. Your explanation, lengthy as it was, is the equivalent of Justin Bieber’s rant on tv for people to focus on his
    “art” and not his douchebaggery.

    You say “Fight for your right LGBT, but not by taking away other peoples'” I don’t think anybody’s arm is being twisted right now to be prevented from watching his movie. Majority of the LGBT community are simply choosing to walk past it.

    Also, “having gay friends” is not a free pass to attack the gay community with extremist views and does not automatically make one the perfect description of someone who accepts the LGBT community.

  34. Queer Supremacist says

    Orson Pig Card is a Mormon cultist. If you pay for this film, some of that will end up in his pocket. 10% of whatever he makes will end up with that cult. I refused to see any of the “Twilight” movies for that same reason.

    Not only do I support a boycott of the movie, but I will boycott the production company, the cast and even the crew members. If they were involved in this movie, I will not see anything else they do. Ever. Nor will I patronize any movie theater that shows this film.

  35. Kaywinnet Lee Frye says

    IMHO, he’s already written a novel with a gay protagonist. Ender’s Game is incredibly homoerotic, as are many of his other books. De Nile ain’t just a river in Egypt.

    Oh, and my intolerance – choosing not to spend money on products that benefit him financially and encouraging the same in others – is not equivalent to his bigotry. His kind of bigotry costs people lives, jobs, custody of their children, the right to marry, the right to survivors’ benefits, etc. My kind of bigotry costs him a few cents in royalties. Not equivalent.

  36. says

    I _am_ against blacklists. But isn’t it time he quit being a NOM boardmember and apologised? What an awful thing, to work to destroy people’s rights. In California alone about 100,000 families _with children_ were paying extra tax thanks to DOMA which NOM supported s many ways including with plea filed with the Supreme Court. It is time, Mr Card. There are couple who have been together since youve been born. They need their rights. Please, as a friend I ask you to show you understand.

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