EDITORIAL: Will Watching Ender’s Game Make You A Bad Person?

Orson Scott Card is feeling the heat for comments he made against gay marriage, but just because the author of a work like Ender’s Game has homophobic tendencies, does that mean you shouldn’t see the movie adaptation?

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By ToddTex - 7/16/2013
Not that anyone who considers seeing this movie really cares about the recent backlash, it’s always best to address these things when they become so incredibly hypocritical.

With the recent victory of basic civil rights over the insanely unconstitutional DOMA act, frenzy to impugn those who spoke out against gay marriage is at an all time high. Now is the time of ‘I told you so’ and ‘you were wrong, I was right’. Nobody, not even the most tolerant and open people are immune to the appeal of the witch-hunt.

With that set in full motion, the criminally ill-timed movie adaptation Orson Scott Card’s (classic?) Ender’s Game, set for a November release, had a big bright cross-hairs painted on it from the get-go.

All the way back in the 1990’s, Card spoke out against gay marriage and continued to defend his opinion amidst strong criticism. Only recently DC comics was slammed for bringing Scott Card onto one of its most famous properties and he soon left the project after vocal public backlash.

Now we’re being told by the fine folks over at geeksout.org and by the tolerant community in general, that we must avoid Ender’s Game at all costs http://geeksout.org/blogs/jono/dont-see-enders-game

Although boycotting a property created by a massive team of hard-working professionals, a lot of whom couldn’t care any less about the author’s opinions, may seem like a suitable recourse to not having one’s rights respected, the truth is the movie adaptation has tried to distance itself as far as possible from Scott Card, and understandably so.

Does Orson Scott Card’s homophobia make his work homophobic? The Reverend Lovejoy put it best when he said “‘short answer: yes, with an ‘if’, long answer: no, with a ‘but’”. Will you become a homophobe if you read his books or watch movie adaptations of his work? No, plain and simple.

I’m a big fan of the philosophy that authors, in the literary medium, should keep their mouths shut when it comes to matters outside their work. Not because writers don’t know anything about the world around them; they have to be very aware of that kind of thing to do what they do, but because anything they say or do may be used against them in the public eye. Their stances on things like that automatically taints their work. If you were to find out that J.K Rowling fully endorsed the clubbing of baby seals, would you enjoy Harry Potter any less? Ok. Bad example.

Edgar Rice Burroughs was very much a sexist. H.P Lovecraft was vocally racist. And it can be argued that Ian Fleming didn’t always write impartially about the fairer sex. These and many other authors took stances that are now considered very out-dated and downright mean-spirited, but even today we still read and enjoy their work.

When I first read Ender’s Game, I was lucky enough to be unaware of the author’s right-wing leanings. I’m the kind of person who can’t help but immediately judge something based on prior information. Aren’t we all? I had heard of that ‘bad man’ writing for Superman over at DC but hadn’t yet connected those dots. I enjoyed the book; it was well-written, well thought and worked great as a sci-fi. The idea that children were being trained to extinguish an extra-terrestrial threat was very appealing. Who better to cope with big bad aliens than minds that haven’t yet succumbed to rigid adult reality? And in this decade of thwarting alien invasions and committing mass Xenocides with impunity, it was refreshing to read a story wherein things like that have disastrous effects on the characters involved. It might be easy for Superman to destroy the remaining population of his home planet and level half of Metropolis in the process, but some of us may feel distinct qualms about causing that kind of destruction.

I remember every now and then being put off by a lot of suggestive stuff in Ender’s Game (the fight in the shower) considering it was a novel about children growing up, anyone who has read it will know what I mean. But all in all, it was a good read. I liked it enough to read the subsequent Speaker for the Dead and have yet to work my way up to Ender’s Shadow.

One criticism I did have about Ender’s Game was the Forward and Notes section from the author. Not because it was laced the homophobic ravings of a madman, not because I was afraid of becoming a homophobe myself just by reading it (that’s silly) but because these were the distinct annotations of a man who ‘gets off on his own supply’ as the saying goes. Someone you meet at a party who talks for the sake of hearing their own voice and marveling at how clever they are isn’t the kind of person you’re going to be taking moral lessons from. This was obviously a man who wanted to be heard, if not necessarily listened to. That bears keeping in mind; in a society where kids are customarily thrown in prison for saying stupid things over the social media, and people are stigmatized for their small-mindedness, freedom of speech is now more of a guideline than an actual rule.

So now we’re forced to answer a very childish question: are you actively funding homophobia by purchasing a ticket for this movie? Not at all. You’re paying the people who put their time and effort into creating a piece of entertainment, not a propaganda film (although this IS arguably a film about propaganda).
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Knightrider - 7/16/2013, 2:54 PM
Personally, gay marriage doesn't bother me...if you love each other go nuts.

However, am I missing something? People seem to all be hating this guy, but has America and all nations suddenly declared Gay Marriage is legal? No, if there were no one but this guy opposing it, it would have been ok'd a long time ago.

People have religious views based on their faith, people can't say that is wrong. Faith will conflict with society from time to time, but as long as we are all willing to tolerate and understand people's differences rather than forcing one opinion other another on each other maybe we would all get along a lot better.

Odin - 7/16/2013, 3:02 PM
No, you are not bad if you see movie that is based on book, which author has some bad opinions. If the movie would be documentary where the person salutes these opinions of his, than maybe yeah I guess.

And what comes to gay marriage:
HavocPrime - 7/16/2013, 3:06 PM
Will this stop me watching Ender's Game?

In short, No, in long, nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
lizero - 7/16/2013, 3:09 PM
I will never get my head around why people hate Orson Scott Card just because of his opinions. I am an openly gay person and support gay marriage. Orson doesn't. Does that mean I wont see his film? No. Does that mean I wont read his books or other works? No. Not because I don't like his work, I love his work. But also the fact that regardless of what he thinks or what anybody thinks, I know that I love a franchise and I will stand by it regardless of what the author or anybody else thinks.
Ocelot - 7/16/2013, 3:11 PM
DAFUQ, if the movie looked interesting I would have watched it regardless of the author and his views(he's not even directing the movie, additionally the film wont appropriate his views or touch on that subject matter), but it looks meh, so I wont be watching it.

Now what needs to be made is a Mass Effect movie, far better than Star Wars and Star Trek, despite that joke of an ending in the third game i'm eagerly anticipating the fourth.
LucasMend - 7/16/2013, 3:18 PM
Let me give an example. If the Michael's Jackson pedophilia charges are actual true, would you stop liking his music? Would he not be considered important to music anymore? Would "Thriller" and "Billie Jean" have no important meaning in society anymore?

I ask the same thing about Edgar Allan Poe and HP Lovecraft, if they have some different opinion of other people or did bad things, would their work mean nothing? well.
naterator - 7/16/2013, 3:20 PM
you would have to be either GAY or RETARDED to let this stop you from seeing the movie..... but you would not be a bad person....just GAY or RETARDED
yourmom2022 - 7/16/2013, 3:22 PM
Who cares what his opinion is. So what he doesn't like these soulless gays getting married. who the [frick] does except bleeding harts, and fruitcakes. So sick of this boycott shit with these idiots who live in their parents basements. Get a [frick]ing life ass clowns. There's a hell of alot going wrong with this country right now then what a writer thinks. The movie looks like a typical hollywood almalgam of evey other film that's been done.
jessepostal - 7/16/2013, 3:24 PM
He's a person like everyone else, why is the world so focused on other people's opinions on anything. Make your own opinion, be your own person.
ChanchoMcGrady - 7/16/2013, 3:28 PM
@Knightrider
I agree. I see a lot of hypocrisy on this and similar subjects. A lot of people complain about how religious people are intolerant and try to force their beliefs on others, but then try to do the very same thing.

However, I will say that not all of them are like that. While some secularists seem to have no problem making intolerant, hypocritical, or downright logically flawed generalizations, I like to think, or at least hope, that it is only a small percentage of the population that is so small-minded as to criticize people for being the very same way.

I don't think I'd ever be able to enjoy a movie if it it truly bothered me that 90% of the people who worked on or starred in it have absolutely zero idea how to intelligently form political beliefs. That would be a rude generalization.

I think that beliefs are just that, beliefs, and we should all be able to get along and enjoy the parts of life that are separate from those beliefs (such as entertainment). To my knowledge, Orson Scott Card has never said anything about wanting to hang gays from street lamps for all the children to see. Yet even if he had, I somehow get the feeling that if "Mein Kampf" was a cool sci-fi epic, I would go and see the film adaptation. Too far? Probably. I guess I'll draw the line there, I wouldn't go see that.

The point is; plenty of people have beliefs or philosophies that you're going to disagree with, and if that truly prevented you from seeing a movie, then I don't think a conservative would ever see a Sean Penn film and a democrat would never see a Robert Downey Jr. film. Even if Alan Taylor showwed up at comic-con and said the Bible is a fairy-tale, I'm still gonna go see Thor 2. Because honestly, it looks pretty awesome.
tonytony - 7/16/2013, 3:31 PM
Enders game has been considered a classic for a very long time and has nothing to do with gayness or straightness.

I will be watching the movie.

I aint into gayness but I'm not hating on them either. I understand that it dont sit well with some people.

Nothing wrong with people saying a man should be with a woman in my opinion.

theres only one sect showing intolerance with all this, guess which one.
TheFascinatingMan - 7/16/2013, 3:31 PM
People need to stop hating on homophobic community- They were born that way too
TheFascinatingMan - 7/16/2013, 3:32 PM
Agree with @tonytony
ChanchoMcGrady - 7/16/2013, 4:03 PM
@tonytony
Agreed.

@TheFascinatingMan
Haha. Like I said man, hypocrisy.
digymastr - 7/16/2013, 4:07 PM
So what if this guy doesn't like being sodomized? We got greater things to debate about! Like, whether I should pick up a PS4 or Xbox One for Christmas!?!

Geez, this Ender Game debate is pointless and stupid.
TheAbaryMan369 - 7/16/2013, 4:12 PM
Didn't read the article. Just title. And to that I say.......



WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA?????????????
Ocelot - 7/16/2013, 4:17 PM
@digymastr

Pick up the PS4 next year.
BabyDuckling - 7/16/2013, 4:42 PM
If people do not want to go see it, that's their right. They have JUST as much right to boycott this movie as Mr. Card has to be an outspoken homophobe. Maybe they do not want to contribute money for Orson Scott Card to use in support of anti-gay legislation. Money is free speech, the Supreme Court says so, so they're freely speaking with their dollars. *shrug*
DrRockso - 7/16/2013, 4:49 PM
I'm a bad person already
Pharaoh - 7/16/2013, 4:57 PM
anyone who boycotts this reason because of Card voicing his opinion is an idiot period and that isn't my opinion it's something I would argue is factual since first off to have an emotional reaction to that degree because of a random guys opinion shows a serious lack of intellectual maturity coupled with the fact Card is merely 1 of 10000s who have worked on this movie along with the fact his opinions do not speak to the quality of his work.

what next? do we make it ok to fire people from their jobs if they voice an unpopular opinion? do we start adding question boxes on application forms "are you in favor of a,b,c,d,e,f" and if they tick no to any then they don't get an interview? where do we draw the line?

where are all these idiots screaming boycott all year round when churches are saying NO to gay marriage? why aren't they screaming to boycott the movies that have blatant sexists working on them?

uber pc nutballs need to be quiet...
NosferatuZodd - 7/16/2013, 5:10 PM
Why do liberals and the gay army hate everyone who disagrees with them? Why are we not allowed to voice our opinions without such ridicule and venomous hate
butter313 - 7/16/2013, 5:19 PM
just be happy
Tainted87 - 7/16/2013, 5:36 PM
Let's get quasi-ridiculous.
Imagine that a nazi made a movie completely unrelated to his or her beliefs, and it cornered the market with its critical acclaim and inspiring material. No one knew of the nazi's beliefs when it came out, and only decades later when another director was looking to remake it, did research dig up that this man's history... did they start protesting.

OSC is not a nazi, but he does have an extremely prejudiced standing on a large population of people spread across the globe. Therefore he is a potential liability. Can we trust people to not be as prejudiced as he is? Both sides want a controversy.

One wants people to see the movie and judge it by its own merits. The other wants the movie boycotted in a sense of ironic but misguided justice to OSC's bigotry.

Me, I abhor censorship in any form, so boycotts are out. Attacking the Ender's Game movie isn't going to accomplish anything, although critics have proven they can turn the tide against just about any sci-fi movie with the proper $incentive$. Still, it could be awesome.

There are other, more productive ways to work against homophobia and its influence.
jimthev - 7/16/2013, 5:55 PM
Nice straw-man article.
CPBuff22 - 7/16/2013, 6:05 PM
Not only is the concept of the book & movie about exploiting children but the movie seems to revel in it from what wee seen in the trailer. Tack on the homophobic comments by the writer and I will not be taking my child to see this movie.

It is 2013, there is absolutely no reason for bigotry base on skin color, nationality, religious belief, or sexual orientation.

My personal hopes are that this movie flops harder than Lone Ranger.
Jer3miah - 7/16/2013, 6:06 PM
@digymastr:
Oh, and are you on crack? Ps4 all the way. Microsoft has fallen to bottom-level shit with their stupid policies, privacy-violating technology AND money-hungry methods. Boycott! O_o
westendgonzo - 7/16/2013, 6:32 PM
It's a personal choice. I'm not actively supporting any boycott, or encouraging people one way or another.

That said, not a dime of money will go to subsidize his hate.
Wingding - 7/16/2013, 6:35 PM
@bropous

You, sir, are awesome
Tainted87 - 7/16/2013, 6:38 PM
I think most people want to be ignorant and not get involved.

The trouble is not Orson Scott Card. He's just one man.
The trouble is obviously the hatred of homosexuals; the complete and utter demonizing of gays, and what impact it has on EVERYONE.

You're probably NOT thinking: "how could it possibly affect me? I'm straight," and probably thinking "I don't care", but humor me please. I've made sense before.

Little kids are bullied every day at school, at home, by their peers, siblings, classmates... even parents. Not all abuse is physical, but for now, we'll talk about the physical side, keep things simple.

Here comes the abbreviated life-story.

My education started in a private school, then we went poor so I was homeschooled, then I convinced my parents to send me to a magnet school - which was basically just a public school. This one was in a pretty bad part of town, and considering how exclusive my friends were, I was setting myself up to get crucified.

I dressed in hand-me-downs that didn't fit, I was growing, and my parents couldn't afford to keep me in style. I was also a pretty stupid kid who was prone to making some big dumb life-changing mistakes. Some popular girl asked me in the middle of class if I was gay, and I didn't even think about it, I just sarcastically replied: "yeah, I'm gay." I knew I wasn't. They didn't. What I didn't know then was that I just painted a HUGE target on my back that followed me for years.

Word spread like wildfire, and suddenly I was "popular". This wasn't the biggest school, but it certainly wasn't tiny. Not after long, I had my entire grade pushing me, kicking me, spitting on me, making jokes about me, or blissfully - avoiding me. All because they thought I was gay. And that's what I thought back then.

But it's obvious, despite my protestations that I wasn't gay, that I was a "Catholic" and couldn't be... it's obvious to an older person that they didn't hate me because they thought I was _____, they hated me because it was the thing to do.

So yeah, I'm very much straight, but I am also very much personally invested in this argument.

People always say that gays are always complaining, that bleeding heart liberals are always trying to censor anyone speaking their mind and are therefore preaching intolerance by being hypocritical. That isn't a lie. But it's only half the truth. Because the hate isn't harmless. It may feel easier to side with the majority, may feel comfortable, but is it always right? It may appear as though Orson Scott Card is being persecuted for his beliefs, but what is honest-to-God happening is he is reaping what he sowed. You know, we should be held accountable for the things we say, for the messages we send out, especially concerning WHO is affected. Hint, it's not the gay population...

---
That said, I want to see the movie. Not for any other reason but because it looks interesting, and you know, Harrison Ford.
DarthBob - 7/16/2013, 7:05 PM
F*ck this, gay people, gay activists and people who disagree with their lifestyle don't control my life so I will go to the theatre and see what I damn well please.
dellamorte1872 - 7/16/2013, 7:07 PM
Walt Disney was a nazi sympathizer
dellamorte1872 - 7/16/2013, 7:08 PM
I wish this movie well, people are too squeamish if that is reason to not see something
fadersdream - 7/16/2013, 7:51 PM
Why is freedom of belief always a one way street?
No matter what some ones views are I respect their right to have them.
It's hypocrisy to pretend in freedom for only one group, or one ideal that coincides with yours, it takes true strength to accept something you find difficult.
FriendlyNeighborhoodSpidey - 7/16/2013, 7:56 PM
I'm gonna see the movie. People need to just calm down and get over themselves. No hate against gays, but I love the book and I can't wait for the movie. Card is a fantastic writer.
Super12 - 7/16/2013, 8:02 PM
Well written article (albeit blatently biased) but a fair and important point made.

Now...here are my thoughts:
There are ignorant idiots on both sides of the issue. Gays protesting for the right to marry is like white people protesting for admittance to the NAACP. It's an institution not meant for them. No one can say who you can love. Obviously. But marriage is two things. 1) it is a contradiction (one of many) to our separation of church and state in that it is and always has been a fusion of religion and law. 2) it was institutionalize legally for the primary purpose of ensuring reproduction of the nations citizens. Hence, tax benefits for married people because they will produce the future generations of natural citizens.

Gays wanting to be married dont want to recognize the religious foundation of it. So that leaves the legal half. Most legal benefits pertain and apply to those who can reproduce. So that gets excluded too. What you're left with are two things: a contractual binding of two people for other legal purposes such as visitation rights, property ownership, etc., and secondly the cultural recognition of their relationship as official.

Since that is the case, the debate should be about giving gay couples the right to civil unions that legitimizes their relationship both romantically and legally. But to try to yoke it together with marriage is asinine because the two are completely different. A white man should not petition the NAACP for benefits meant for black people, and a homosexual should not petition for benefits meant for a straight couple. Since homosexuality is new to the forefront of Americam politics, we should address its place in society in full rather than try to pretend its the same as heterosexuality. They are not and that is why it becomes such a heated topic.
Conaan - 7/16/2013, 8:33 PM
I don't give a crap about any of this.

vRockMcCarty - 7/16/2013, 9:18 PM
1. Who cares.
2. Jennifer Lawrence.
3. People who get offended easily need to grow a pair.
4. Jennifer Lawrence.
5. Politics don't belong on a comic book website.
6. JENNIFER LAWRENCE.
blkyank - 7/16/2013, 9:22 PM
@Super12

The fact is that reproduction is an increasingly small part of the lives of married people.

In my case I have been married to my wife for 22 years and we have two sons born two years apart 13 to 15 years ago. That means that out of 22 years of marriage,we were only producing children for 2 years (add another five years until they both started school) and we don't plan on having anymore. Gay couples already can adopt kids so minus birthing kids (and there are ways Lesbians can do that as well) that Gay couple is doing the same job raising the next generation.

So why shouldn't they get those same tax breaks to raise their kids (adopted or otherwise) as I get?

And btw, I was married in a justice of the peace office and religion had no part in
the matter. I have also attended traditional weddings in churches that have ended
in divorce. In what way does two Gays marring (who can get a civil union,adopt kids,jointly own property,so on) pose anymore of a threat to your marriage
(if indeed you are married) then no fault divorce?
Grievo - 7/16/2013, 9:35 PM
"From the director of X-Men Origins: Wolverine." So yes, if stupidity is bad, watching this crap will make you bad (LOVE the book, couldn't care less about anyone's views, movie has NOTHING to do with the book).
BlindJustice - 7/16/2013, 9:54 PM
Like I've said before, I believe Freddy Mercury to be the greatest singer EVER. I didn't agree with his personal lifechoice, but Queen is my favorite rock band of all time. The same can be said of Orson Scott Card and countless other artists/entertainers.
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