Despite Orson Scott Card stating that he felt that his views on homosexuality and his opposition to same sex marriages have nothing to do with his literary efforts or the film adapted from same, the screen version of Ender’s Game is still caught up in controversy. With the gay community calling for a boycott of the film, the studio responsible for the adaptation of the book, Lionsgate, have responded to the LGBT in an effort to calm things down.
The boycott makes sense from the LGBT’s viewpoint. It is their rationale that going to see the film puts money in a self-confessed homophobe’s pocket and that same person has actively spoken out against same-sex marriage. The 61 year-old author also sits on the board of the National Organisation for Marriage and has worked vigorously against allowing his fellow man to have the freedom to marry who they want to.
Lionsgate are, quite wisely, attempting to distant the studio from the outspoken and homophobic author. They are apparently fully aware that if the film Ender’s Game is a success, Card will profit from increased sales of his books and the gay community are trying to stop this happening.
The studio knows that it must not inflame the situation any further by ignoring the message that the LGBT has sent them. Lionsgate released an official statement that they obviously feel might keep them from being tarred by the same brush as Card.
The statement reads:
“As proud longtime supporters of the LGBT community, champions of films ranging from GODS AND MONSTERS to THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER and a Company that is proud to have recognised same-sex unions and domestic partnerships within its employee benefits policies for many years, we obviously do not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card and those of the National Organisation for Marriage.”
The statement continues, “However, they are completely irrelevant to a discussion of ENDER’S GAME. The simple fact is that neither the underlying book nor the film itself reflect these views in any way, shape or form. On the contrary, the film not only transports viewers to an entertaining and action-filled world, but it does so with positive and inspiring characters who ultimately deliver an ennobling and life-affirming message. Lionsgate will continue its longstanding commitment to the LGBT community by exploring new ways we can support LGBT causes and, as part of this ongoing process, will host a benefit premiere for ENDER’S GAME.”
Lionsgate issues official response to growing ‘Ender’s Game’ author controversy [HitFix]
Geek OUT, who instigated the boycott were not slow to respond to the studios attempt at appeasement. They released a statement that made their feelings about author Orson Scott Card and his bias towards gay people clear.
The Geek OUT statement reads as follows:
“As proud members of the LGBT community, champions of creative freedom and honest self-expression, and a group at whom the film Ender’s Game is directly marketed, we appreciate Lionsgate’s record of doing good things and its admirable, strongly worded rejection of Ender’s Game author Orson Scott Card’s and the National Organisation for Marriage’s anti-gay activism.”
The statement continues, ‘The simple fact is that “Skip Ender’s Game” has never been about the content of the novel or the film Ender’s Game. It’s about money. It’s about the money the company has already paid to Card and the potential millions he and the National Organisation for Marriage stand to make off of the success of the film—our money.”
“A benefit premiere, indeed any outreach to the LGBT community by Lionsgate, ought to be much appreciated. What’s clear is that whether or not they support his views, Lionsgate is standing by their man and their would-be blockbuster. They made the common, perhaps cynical, calculation that audiences wouldn’t connect Ender’s Game with Card’s very public homophobia—or wouldn’t care. Geeks OUT appreciates that most American families work for every dollar and care deeply about where that money goes and what it supports.”
“Skip Ender’s Game” is not a threat; it is a reality. Our pledge adds hundreds of signatures every day from sci-fi fans around the world who would rather stay home than support homophobia. We have only just started and Geeks OUT and its allies are prepared to carry on past November 1. Nothing Card nor Lionsgate has said changes the fact that skipping Ender’s Game is the easiest way to ensure none of your dollars go to Orson Scott Card’s and the National Organisation for Marriage’s extreme anti-gay agenda.
In essence Geek OUT and the LGBT community have nothing against the 1984 science fiction novel or the movie. They are against the author and, in a case of guilt by association, the studio. The organisation knows that the best and clearest way to get their feelings across are by injuring the pocketbooks of those who show such prejudice toward the gay community.
Both Lionsgate and, to a much lesser degree, Card have attempted to hold back the wave of disapproval and curtail the harmful effects of a gay boycott. But in the end, it is just a film and like other “controversial” films, the amount of publicity generated by the boycott will ensure that the studios and Card will both not suffer too badly from the lack of gay cinema goers.
All the combined rhetoric of both parties will not change the fact that Orson Scott Card is a successful writer whose personal views do not fit into the modern world that we live in.
But while the Ender’s Game Studio have attempted to respond to the gay boycott of the film, it remains to be seen as to whether the entire community will sway other cinema goers into supporting their boycott. It could be that the statement released by Lionsgate will help to prove that the studio understands the gay communities stance on the film and the feelings behind the boycott.
By Michael Smith