Orson Scott Card Pleads For Tolerance In Response To Planned Boycott Of Ender’s Game


In an exclusive with Entertainment Weekly, sci-fi author and NOM board member Orson Scott Card had this to say in response to the planned boycott of Ender's Game, due out this fall:

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.

He didn't make nearly as loud of a fuss about the panning of Hamlet's Father. A few notes about his statement:

  1. Issues regarding gay rights did exist in 1984. During the devastation of AIDS, loving men were denied the right to visit and comfort their dying partners because to the law they were not husbands but strangers. Media outlets not covering the issues doesn't mean they did not exist, and to claim otherwise is to whitewash history and justify the cruelty of one's own prejudices. His line is a misdirect in any case; people are protesting Card for his views, not the movie for its content.

  2. Yes, the Full Faith and Credit clause will likely render state bans on gay marriage moot, eventually. It will not invalidate Card's decades of hateful statements: that homosexuals are the products of abuse and rape and suffer from "tragic genetic mixups"; that homosexual acts should have remained criminal actions; that any government that would change the definition of marriage is his "mortal enemy" that he would act to destroy.

  3. The implication that boycotting is an act of intolerance and thus infers that to be tolerant one would have to see his movie. In other words, you have to pay Orson Scott Card in order to prove that you're tolerant of him. 

  4. Oppressed people are under no obligation to be tolerant of the bigoted views of their oppressors. Likewise, the intolerant have no grounds to demand that they be tolerated.

The timing and content of his statement exposes the craven, unprincipled greed of this man. He threw NOM under the bus and offered a withered olive branch only when his side had already lost, and even then only did so when opposition to his views threatened box office revenues.

The site for Skip Ender's Game can be found here.

Make sure not to miss a Towleroad headline by following @TLRD on Twitter.


  1. sundayboy says

    You’re a day late and a dollar behind, bud. You can’t erase two decades of virulently anti-gay attacks because you hope to make some bank suddenly.

  2. NaomiClareNL says

    I’m so glad I never bought anything he produced. Not going to in a long time too.
    This is not a heartfelt apology, just a pathetic attempt to save business.

    Not to mention that it is far from over and his side is still actively exporting hate to places like Africa.

  3. HadenoughBS says

    Screw Orson Scott Card and his attempt to enhance his financial worth off receipts from “Ender’s Game” – the movie. He’s a homophobic spreader of anti-gay lies and hate that’ll get not one penny from me. He and his fellow NOMbies can rot in Hell for eternity for the damage they’ve done and continue to do to millions of LGBT Americans and their families/friends/supporters.

  4. says

    He’s a Board Member of NOM. NOM has repeatedly called for boycotts of companies that support marriage equality. Did he ever publicly condemn those boycotts? NO. What a hypocrite.

  5. Reggie says

    So, wait… when he attacks us, that is fine. But when we stand up and fight back, we are being intolerant? Where was HIS tolerance all these years? The best way to make a point is to totally boycott this project, including the actors who have participated in it. And yes,… I do mean you, Han Solo!

  6. bambinoitaliano says

    He can’t tolerate our existence but he equate us not financially supporting him as intolerant?

  7. says

    Oh goody – the bigot’s favorite excuse: “You’re being intolerant of my intolerance! WAH!”

    You’d think OSC would be smarter than that, but I guess not.

    Here’s a deal, Orson: You stop being a homophobic @$$hole, and then I’ll go see your movie.

  8. Tony Konrath says

    I’m rather fond of his books but…

    So as to deprive the author of my hard earned dollars I always buy them used.

  9. Gigi says

    Orson Scott Card Pleads for Tolerance

    Translation: please don’t boycott my movie so that I can make lots of money.

  10. Yeek says

    It’s common sense that we try to stop someone who’s gone out of their way to hurt us from making millions of dollars. Should we really trust that that money won’t go to anti-gay organizations? You didn’t make it easy for us, Card. Why should we make it easy for you?

  11. daws says

    Sadly I bought Enders Game for Kindle before I realized what this dude stands for. I do find it strange and twisted that bigoted, ignorant people demand tolerance for stances. You want me to be tolerant of intolerance? Huh? Not going to happen. I hope the film flops.

  12. Michael Barber says

    Let me remind everyone here what Mr. Card has said in the past and I quote, “”What these dictator-judges do not seem to understand is that their authority extends only as far as people choose to obey them.

    How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless 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, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.”

    HE HAS CALLED FOR THE VIOLENT OVERTHROW OF ANY GOVERNMENT THAT WOULD GIVE LGBT persons full equality. That is a militant, hateful, religious fascist mindset that I WILL NEVER FORGIVE NOR FORGET.

  13. Richard Judkins says

    I knew Mr. Card at BYU in the early ’70’s, when gay people were actively persecuted by the university. I worked for the university and we were told to report anyone suspected of being ‘homosexual’ and they would be summarily kicked out and publicly shamed within the LDS community. This is the environment where Mr. Card learned his intolerance and it apparently has remained with him until today. He helped lead the LDS Church’s Proposition 8 effort in California. He really should not be surprised if the proverbial chickens have come home to roost.

  14. says

    I wouldn’t go see a movie written by an unrepentant racist, so why would I go see a movie written by an unapologetic anti-gay bigot? No thanks. I’ll spend my money elsewhere.

  15. Hey Darlin' says

    Actions speak louder than words. We aren’t buying it. We also aren’t going for the shame on top of shame routine.

  16. mg_xtra says

    I’m going to see the movie, regardless of the fact that Card might make some money off of it.


    Because the team behind the movie do not share his values. They are simply trying to bring a fascinating story ABOUT CHILDREN to the masses, and the actors, producers, directors, etc…shouldn’t have to be subject to the backlash that ONE man has caused. Y’all need to calm down.

  17. Zeta says

    say what? money’s involved, so the Mormon now pleads tolerance? Orson Scott Card’s own intolerances are legendary, on the convention circuit. what changed (besides a movie coming out)?

  18. Hey Darlin' says

    It’s also a bit more than a “disagreement” when you are defending yourself against a group/individual who would seek to put laws in place to limit your guaranteed freedom based on their own religious ideals, not even those of the government/majority.

  19. Onnyjay says

    Bought and read EG when it came out, wasn’t impressed enough to want to read any more of OSC’s work. Gimmicks and twists were predictable and unsurprising. Can’t imagine the movie will be worth the time and money and have no desire to line the pockets of a bigoted moron, er, mormon.

  20. Jack M says

    It’s my money and I can do what I want with it. Card’s not making a dime off of me. He can stuff it.

  21. Caliban says

    Fvck him. His argument seems to be, “my side lost so you can’t hold all the truly nasty sh!t I’ve said about you against me.” Oh, yes we can, Mr Card. We can and we do.

    There’s no way in hell I’d pay to see this movie and I hope the boycott becomes widespread. The level of vitriol Orson Scott Card has leveled at us might even surpass the Westboro Baptist Church because I don’t think even they have called for gay people to be imprisoned, but Card HAS.

    This isn’t a matter of gay people getting our delicate feelings hurt, Card has waged a nasty, decades long fight against even basic rights for gay people, calling us criminals, pedophiles, and worse.

  22. Marshall says

    I think conservatives take advantage of the variations a word like tolerance can have.

    “I don’t like you, but I’ve decided to be tolerant and invite you to my party anyway.”

    “I don’t like you, but I’ve decided to be tolerant and not legislate against your very existence.”

    Tolerance takes on a very different meaning in each sentence. When conservatives compare the tolerance we’ve sought for decades to the tolerance they’d like for their offensive behavior it’s laughable to even consider them remotely similar.

  23. Rob says

    WAAAAAAA!!! I want my money!!!!! You gays are going to ruin everything!!! That’s all…..

  24. says

    The first time I had ever heard of Orson Scott Card was when I read his short story, “A Thousand Deaths,” in the long-defunct Omni magazine. I later read the first four of his Ender Wiggin books, and a slogged through all five books in his Homecoming series, though becoming a bit puzzled by the Mormon imagery toward the end.

    It was only later that I found out what rabid disdain Card had for Gay people. And trust me, I did my research. The utterly nasty things he’s had to say about the LGBT community, coupled with the fact that he’s a board member of the very anti-Gay National Organization for Marriage, tells me all I need to know. I regret that I’ve thrown so much money at him in the past. I will not do so anymore. I’m skipping the film version of “Ender’s Game.”

    Mr. Card has every right to express his anti-Gay vitriol, just as the rest of us have the right to call him out on it. But I have no doubt that conservative Christian churches will still bring their congregations to the theater by the BUSLOAD to support this movie.

    Of course, if Orson Scott Card now thinks the issue of marriage equality for law-abiding, taxpaying Gay couples is “moot,” I suppose he’ll just resign from his position as a board member of the National Organization for Marriage. But no, I don’t think that will happen.

  25. thomas mc says

    Wow. He’s completely intollerant of those who only want equal rights, then demands tollerance for himself for being a bigot. What a freaking hypocrite. I certainly hope his career is OVER.

  26. Ale-Alejandro says

    I want to read the Ender’s series . . . so I’ll pirate them. I’ll wait for the movie to come out on DVD or if I really want to see it (my boyfriend is a fan of the books), I’ll donate an equal amount of money in OSC’s name to the Trevor Project (my LGBT charity of choice).

  27. El says

    Christian, great notes!

    And thanks to most others here for the deeper insight into this individual’s life and mind.

    Despicable dude!

  28. says

    No, you pig-ignorant bigot.

    You worked to take away our rights. You lost. Now you want TOLERANCE from the people whose rights you’ve worked to take away?


    TOLERANCE would be your bigoted @ss NOT WORKING TO TAKE AWAY OUR RIGHTS.

    this is not how it works. you don’t get to slap me in the face and then claim that a tolerant person would take it and not hit you back.


  29. mikep says

    I will be watching this movie but only on regular tv for free. I’m not giving this idiot a single penny of my money.

  30. AggieCowboy says

    tsk, tsk. As an author, Card should know how to use the word ‘moot’ properly.

    Moot: Subject to debate, dispute, or uncertainty, and typically not admitting of a final decision.

    Or perhaps he was…in a double entendre kind of way.

  31. says

    here’s the deal, too:

    remember matt salmon jr?

    he does what Orson Scott Card demands from us: he wants us to accept and “tolerate” the active work being done against us.

    Salmon Jr’s senator father opposes LGBT Equality legislations. all of ’em. and Salmon Jr “tolerates” and “accepts” that.

    how’s that working for you? i’ll help you out – it’s NOT.

  32. David says

    He is a producer and screenwriter on the film. He stands to see more of the gross than anybody.

  33. One of the CA 36,000 says

    I do not care a whit about the people that made this steaming pile. They got their paychecks.

    OSC is a Fascist, plain and simple. Obviously he’s going to be getting a percentage of the film’s receipts (hopefully net); I can tell you that I won’t pay one thin gay dime to enrich this bigoted Mormon yutz.

  34. says

    Well, I’m gonna go out on a limb here since your all so up-in-arms about a movie based on a book written by this guy. Why stop with him? Shouldn’t we boycot all the actors, movie staff, the studios and marketing firms, and the special effects companies and catering companies that were involved in this film?

    Oh wait! Why stop there? Let’s boycott the theaters that show the film and newspapers, magazines and websites and writers that write reviews of the film?

    In effect, all of the people and organizations involved in the making of this film are “supporting” his point of view aren’t they?

  35. David says

    @aaron Card is the producer and screenwriter of the film. He has more to gain than anybody from this. You’re up in arms because we don’t wanna give money to a head board member of the national organization of marriage?? Get real, my friend.

    TOWERLOAD- He STILL works for nom. that’s the most important part.

    And look up what “moot” means

  36. gomez says

    i am going to enjoy the uncomfortable pr shitshow that’s going to haunt this bigot

  37. anon says

    Considering that gay-phobic Hollywood made “Crash” the academy award winner, Card would fit right in there.

    His argument is that because he’s lost the debate at the Supreme Court over marriage we should all move on. That’s not really a valid argument if one is suggesting he should be punished for anti-gay sentiments, since he still has them. The best argument he could make is that the film was created by hundreds of people and has no anti-gay content, so the anger is pointless and misdirected. If Chick-fil-le is any indication, the anti-gay bigots out there will prop up any commercial target of a gay boycott.

  38. JohnnyBS says

    Can’t sign because the petition is only able to accept 5 digit american zip codes. Otherwise I would.

  39. Andy says

    Orson Scott Card asking for tolerance on his views of gay people is like Wagner asking for tolerance on his views of Jewish people. Even the biggest fans of Wagner today recognize that their love for his music is bittersweet.

  40. Monrocsol says

    I don’t even know who this guy is, but I will make sure nobody I know pays a dime for anything he produces.

  41. Palmer says

    For anyone “concerned” about actors, writers, producers making money on this film, please be aware that only the top tier will be making any additional money on this film. All the crew, actors and extras have been paid. The only ones to make any real money now will be the executives, the studios and the stars all of whom have already been amply compensated for their time!

  42. Randy says

    I won’t be paying to see it. If it comes across the regular movie channel with the rest of my subscription, I may watch it then. No rush.

  43. Jeff Baker says

    I think the LDS Church has been doing their own version of conversion therapy for over a century and it’s been a spectacular failure! (If I’m mistaken about the denomination, the Moderator can delete this!)

  44. MattBMO says

    Has anybody read Ender’s Game? To me, it was all about religion – the Mormon Church as well as any other. They take children and brainwash them, indoctrinate them into becoming soldiers before they even reach puberty. It may take place in the future, but it resonates with the present. And I found it a very sad worldview. Of course, this was before I knew that Card was a devout Mormon and homophobe. But I wouldn’t be going to see the movie anyway, so he’s not really losing my money…

  45. MattBMO says

    mg_xtra, you say “the team behind the movie does not share his values.” How do you know this? Every person involved with the movie may be a Mormon, or a majority of them. Do you know them? I don’t see how you can be so certain …
    And the “fascinating story” you refer to is about ABUSING CHILDREN. Taking them from their families and brainwashing them to become soldiers. Something that most people protest when the dictators in Africa do it.

  46. woodroad34d says

    He claims to love our American Values while screaming at the top of his lungs to demolish any government that doesn’t fall in line with his one-dimensional thinking…that’s a traitor. He’s worse than Snowden, Manning and all the rest who exposed hideous secrets. He literally vowed to bring down this government. Not a hero, not a moral person, not a human being. And his books stink–I’ve tried reading the boring dialogue and simplistic plots–simply unreadable. Good for those who could get through those snooze fests.

  47. Patrick Hogan says

    Card is on the board of directors for NOM, and NOM is *still* trying to boycott Starbucks for its support for allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. Unless Card resigns his position at NOM and denounces the organization, or at least convinces NOM to drop its boycott of Starbucks, it’s the height of hypocrisy for him to complain about people boycotting his movie because he “disagrees” with them.

    And, of course, he has done much more than merely “disagree” with the idea that gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to marry. He’s denigrated and attacked gay and lesbian people, our families and our marriages for decades — saying that “many” gay people are gay due to molestation, claiming that gay couples aren’t really capable of being in love, saying that gay couples who marry are taking something from him and his wife, supporting (for years, though he says he’s changed his view) laws criminalizing gay relationships and enforcing those laws selectively to “send a message” that openly gay people “cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society”, and working on NOM’s board of directors, to name a few.

  48. kode says

    Posted by: Caliban | Jul 9, 2013 10:09:15 AM
    “This isn’t a matter of gay people getting our delicate feelings hurt, Card has waged a nasty, decades long fight against even basic rights for gay people, calling us criminals, pedophiles, and worse.”

    It’s funny that when I listened to the audiobook of Ender’s Game a few years back, not knowing anything about its author, I kept thinking that “Was this written by a pedophile?”. Didn’t really care about the book (it felt dated and boring) and haven’t wanted to read anything else from Card. And after finding out about his anti-gay crusade I certainly never will.

    I’m actually a bit surprised that Card even tried to calm the waters in this EW interview, since he seems to be such a lunatic in his anti-gay views, and I think it tells that the movie studio is really worried about the boycott. And of course he might be losing millions of dollars himself, and like every good Mormon he’s in the end really only worried about that.

  49. steve says

    I loved this book as a kid – literally one of the most memorable childhood reading experiences I ever had – it’s a movie I’ve been waiting for over 20 years to see. Sorry guys, I’m going to see it. However, I appreciate being educated on OSC’s viewpoints.

  50. steve says

    I loved this book as a kid – literally one of the most memorable childhood reading experiences I ever had – it’s a movie I’ve been waiting for over 20 years to see. Sorry guys, I’m going to see it. However, I appreciate being educated on OSC’s viewpoints.

  51. says

    The ‘Full Faith and Credit Clause’ (US Constitution, Article IV, Section 1) bit struck me as very odd, so I looked it up — and must respectfully disagree with you on that point of law, Christian.

    There is no history of caselaw ever requiring any state to recognise a marriage it doesn’t want to. Some digging reveals that Card is uncritically quoting a factually incorrect George W. Bush claim from 2004. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/17/us/bans-on-interracial-unions-offer-perspectiv
    e-on-gay-ones.html E.g., miscegenation statutes were actually struck down as a state by state (state-law) matter. Nobody ever even tried using the Federal Full Faith and Credit Clause (basically because that’s not what it’s about).

    The obvious Federal-law route of attack, if any, would be via due process and equal protection, except that the USSC’s conservative bloc did their best to deter that approach in the recent decisions, so for the foreseeable future it’s a matter for each state, Mr. Card’s persecution complex notwithstanding.

    Rick Moen