Love the book/movie, hate the authoron May 16, 2013 at 8:00 am
Do you want to fund Orson Scott Card’s crusade against gay rights? No? Then I have good news for you! All you have to do is boycott the upcoming “Ender’s Game” film and all media he’s authored or been associated with.
“But Brian!” you sputter, “What about ‘Advent Rising?’”
Nope, you’re hosed. If you want to support “the gays”, you must stand against everything OSC! Cut off his cashflow, and you’ll be a champion for gay rights.
Of course, all that is just sarcastic hyperbole (you are on the Internet, remember?).
Not that “Ender’s Game” is by any means obscure, but a major motion picture release always brings an increased level of public scrutiny to any intellectual property. I myself am a huge fan of OSC’s Enderverse, and it’s hard not to look like apathetic or just a teensy bit bigoted when you stand up for the work.
Let me clear: I wholeheartedly agree with most of the negative opinions toward OSC. The man’s a bigot; there’re no gray areas. Straight up grade A douchenozzle. But what does that have to do with his art?
Much has been made of the themes in the Ender series. I don’t think intolerance and hatred are part of the message; Internet people have tried, but there’s no smoking gun that says “A-ha! OSC hated gays all along, and here’s the proof! Chapter III of ‘Speaker for the Dead’, a character makes a disparaging remark about a gay couple!”
I made that up, of course. The closest I’ve read is that “bugger” – the in-universe slang for the alien enemy – is an anti-gay slur. Ok, sure. Maybe. But then why would the whole series revolve around their unwarranted genocide? It’s a huge stretch that OSC wrote an alien analog of homosexuals, proceeded to defend them through numerous novels, and then suddenly hates them in real life.
Maybe he watched a little too much Fox News one day? I dunno.
OSC’s Mormon faith plays a large role in the Enderverse. So does Catholicism. And Islam. Seriously, a good chunk of the “Ender’s Shadow” series, especially “Shadow of the Giant”, explores a resurgent Muslim Caliphate in the Middle East. Part of what makes the Enderverse great is its depth… sure, there are aliens and pew pew, but they don’t exist in a vacuum. The human characters are governed by their emotions, gender, religion, loyalty to family and nation.
Fans seem to have trouble reconciling OSC’s bigotry with the diversity of his novels. It boggles their minds that someone can hold beliefs contrary to what’s presented in their work. Perhaps OSC wasn’t always the asshole he is today. Maybe his beliefs “evolved”. Like President Obama’s!
Which brings me to the next point: pro-LGBT is gaining popularity in this country. It’s one of those causes with clear delineation. If you’re pro, you’re decent human being. Con, you’re some kind of Republican bigot. It’s gotten to the point where politicians like Barack Obama and Sen. Rob Portman can no longer hedge their bets by staying mum on the subject.
So when you have the faintest whiff of civil rights debate attached to a film, naturally it’ll become a lightning rod. Shit, I half expect a member of Congress to introduce “Ender’s Bill”, some kind of legislation to measure to censure bigoted artists. Actually, they could make it some sort of tax penalty, like Obamacare, but I digress!