Superman, Gays, and Ender’s Game – An Orson Scott Card Adventure

adventuresuperman      Harrison-Ford-and-Asa-Butterfield-in-Enders-Game-2013-Movie-Image      orson

For reference to what I am talking about, see this and many other stories about Orson Scott Card by Google search.

I’ve been kicking this controversy around in my head for a while now, but I still don’t know where I stand on it. Here’s where I am as of right now.

You see, I’m a recent Ender’s Game fan. I was browsing through the internet (aka – my life) a few months back and saw that Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield were playing in a new movie. So, I checked it out and saw that the movie would be based on the books Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow. So, I went to the store and bought every book in the series. Why did I buy every book? Because, I’m obsessive like that. I knew that if I liked the first one, I would have to have the rest. So I took care of it all at once.

Ya know what? I loved them. When I read Ender’s Game, I felt so attached to the characters that I knew I had to read more. And more. I’ve read them all now.

It wasn’t until I finished the first book that I looked into the author, Orson Scott Card. Come to find out, there is a ton of controversy surrounding him. Turns out, he pretty scared of homosexuals. He has been pretty outspoken about homosexual rights throughout the years, as any quick Google search will tell you. He is also a Mormon, which is where I believe his views come from (not that all Mormons feel the same about homosexuality, but most do). He is very outspoken about his opposition to gay marriage, which many others are as well. I’m not just picking on him.

Now, many people are saying that they will not be going to see the movie when it comes out on November 1st. I however, will be there on opening day. Why? Because I can separate the art from the artist.

Many people will say that I must support his views. I definitely do not. In fact, I find them wrong and way out of place for the time. I am a Christian and I do not believe Jesus would condone soooo many of the things we do nowadays, including how we treat gay rights. I do not, however, believe that boycotting his work will change his views. It will likely harden them. It will further entrench the two sides of the debate. Honestly, some people’s views are just not going to change on this subject. Guess what – I’m okay with that as long as no violence comes of it.

Furthermore, if the argument of not seeing or reading his stuff is made simply because people disagree with certain views, then we would have a problem. Simply apply that logic to other areas. Nobody would see any movies, especially not Republicans. Because everyone knows all about those Hollywood libs. Nobody would see those Sean Penn movies because of his closeness with South American socialists, right? Wrong.

Look, we disagree in this country. We are actually allowed to do that, contrary to popular modern belief. Orson Scott Card has produced some great novels in the Ender’s series. They teach valuable lessons and they make for excellent reading. They have depth and excitement. I would recommend them to anyone, gay or straight.

He was recently chosen by DC to pen the new Superman novel. Unfortunately, this controversy has caused them to shelve the project. It will likely never see the light of day. That’s a shame. Changing people’s minds by boycotting can work in some cases, but it is going to deprive us of some great books in the process. Card has kept his work separate from his views. I have never read anything homophobic in his books. What he does with his private time is up to him (I wish he would take the same view). This is still America, so lets fight it out the way Americans do – with guns and the bible – with logic and compassion.

Your thoughts and comments are welcome below, just play nice.

‘Ender’s Game and Philosophy,’ New Book, Asks: ‘How Queer Is Ender?’

Op-ed: Why I plan to skip Ender’s Game

The Boycott of the Upcoming Ender’s Game film: Is it Justified?

Why Skipping Ender’s Game because of Orson Scott Card is a bad idea


9 thoughts on “Superman, Gays, and Ender’s Game – An Orson Scott Card Adventure

  1. V

    It’s funny that this is happening now. I am writing a lot about exclusionary views, marginalized views, silencing as acts of protest against popular belief, etc. But I really still can’t understand the concept of people being upset about gay rights. The right for gay marriage is legality not theology. People keep wanting to throw religion in the argument, but religion has no hold in legal situations. At least it isn’t supposed to right? I mean homosexuality is not new. It happens, a lot. In fact it happens in a lot of different species (just like heterosexuality). It happened a lot back in Greece or Rome in 400BC times- you know where a lot of our “traditional” government comes from. Where our construction of rhetoric comes from. Dare say, where our construction of patriarchy comes from? (haha I won’t go there) I agree with you, Card’s work should stand outside his beliefs especially if you think he is that good. However, given this day in age the only “perceived” power we have is through boycotting; this is because monetary value is the only thing that moves in this country. Furthermore, Card didn’t have to get active at all about gay rights. He could have just gone to his local voting place and checked the no without voicing his opinion. So I feel like if you are willing to be public and political then you are going to have to deal with the consequences of other reactionary active people. I also agree with you that people should be able to believe what they want, but I think every one should be reflective and ask why it is they believe what they believe. Where did their belief come from? How did their belief manifest the way that it did? I think when people can start having actual conversations without anger or violence then we can come to agreements or at least new paths. The only difference between gay and straight people is what happens in the bedroom. And isn’t government rights about what happens outside the bedroom? Or maybe it doesn’t, I don’t know. I guess I’ll lose that battle when someone brings up Clinton, haha. As a last comment, there’s this language theorist by the last name of Heidegger. I LOVE his work. I mean its all complicated and twisty, but I dig it. I even wrote a paper on him. Which then led me to discover that this language abstract theoretical genius was actually a full blown Nazi. So is it ethical that I still read him? Is it ethical that I still use his work and give him credit even though he was a Nazi? Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that Card is a Nazi (not at all because that does not parallel, but just allow me the metaphor), nor do I think he would sign up for the atrocities that the Nazi regime committed. However, I still think there is a metaphor here. And there is a ethical research dilemma. It seems that you begin to wonder who and what you use represents you. So if Card is an open and out homophobe, then do I really want him representing my work? I don’t know the answer, but I am glad that you posed the question. Sorry if this got too lengthy!

  2. Great points! I don’t agree with Card’s politics or views, but I loved Ender’s Game and still plan to see the film when it is released. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. Pingback: Science Fiction is Screwed | Author Allen Watson

  4. Wow “V” covered a lot of real estate in that comment LOL…all good stuff! I think (as an author) that a certain amount of our opinions and views will make their way into a story. But I think that we are also responsible for the fair treatment of all views – since most stories are made up of different characters. When I as the reader (or viewer) can clearly recognize a political or social viewpoint, it jars me from the story and I loose an important connection. One example is my ex-favorite show Law and Order. It started out well, but then I came to realize that no matter the crime or even the murderer…in the end the real responsible party was either a. a big rich company or b. a rich white person. Every time. That turned me off to the show, not because at times that isn’t true in the real world, but that it was greatly over-represented in the show. I began to have the same experience with Stephen King. His politics began slipping into his stories (see Under the Dome and Duma Key). I love King’s writing – I hate his politics – if they become one in the same, then we have to part company. Now I agree I think Card was crazy to announce his social views. Unless he’s running for office, keep it private. I won’t boycott an entertainer’s work based on their opinions, unless their work is solely about those opinions.

    1. I think you’re point about not boycotting unless the work is only based on their personal views is good. Clearly Ender’s Game did not hint at Card’s Mormon views and I highly doubt his Superman version would have either. I know a lot of people will have difficulty with is, but I enjoy his writing too much to block it out.

  5. Chris

    The problem is that he funds the NOM with his earnings, and I can’t stomach paying money which will end up in the hands of those who are actively trying to suppress me. I loved the books too, so it’s pretty sad.

  6. I’ve been wanting to read Ender’s Game for a while now, but I never knew that about the author. I never would have guessed. It’s a pity, but I think what you talked about in terms of separating the art from the artist is important.

    1. I love all the Ender books. They are excellent. I have remained conflicted about supporting his books because I’m gay, but the books have inspired some of my writing, so that’s that. They are just good.

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