Campaign to boycott Ender's Game movie

I read Ender's Game and hated it, so I wouldn't watch the upcoming movie adaptation even if Orson Scott Card wasn't a blowhard homophobe. But he is one, which is all the more reason I happily signed Geeks OUT's pledge to skip Ender's Game.

“Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society's regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.”

— Orson Scott Card, “The Hypocrites of Homosexuality,” Sunstone Magazine, Feb 1990

"Do you really want to give this guy your money?"


  1. Mark, I’d love to hear what about the book you didn’t like, unrelated to Orson Scott Card’s homophobia.

  2. I’m with you, Mark, on all points. But I listened to the audiobook before I read the text version. The audiobook was even worse. The only reason I later read the text version was because so many people kept raving about it. Stay away.

  3. I like how the quote was ripped completely out of context.  The man was raised in a religious environment that says homosexuality is a sin.  The rest of his attitudes flow forward from that, including some pretty clear statements that he’s not a homophobe as that term is typically used to smear people who disagree with the agenda to equate homosexuality with heterosexuality. 

    But bashing someone for hewing closely to their faith is a much easier task than standing up for a belief in objective morality or asserting that a community is built on shared values.  From the referenced article:

    The hypocrites of homosexuality are, of course, already preparing to answer these statements
    by accusing me of homophobia, gay-bashing, bigotry, intolerance; but nothing that I have said here
    — and nothing that has been said by any of the prophets or any of the Church leaders who have
    dealt with this issue — can be construed as advocating, encouraging, or even allowing harsh personal
    treatment of individuals who are unable to resist the temptation to have sexual relations with
    persons of the same sex… No act of violence is ever appropriate to protect Christianity from those who would rob it of
    its meaning. None of us are without sin — the casting of stones is not our duty or our privilege.


    Demogogues of all persuasions demand tolerance as long as that tolerance means utter agreement with them. 

    Unfortunately, that position makes having reasonable conversation about virtually any topic impossible.

    1. Being “raised in a religious environment that says” something makes never that something right in itself (nor wrong, for that matter), even less so considering that the man is, how old? Something more than 8 o 12, I believe, isn’t he? Had some time to think things over, I’d say. Again: preventing accusations of homophoby doesn’t make in itself a position less homophobic.
      So, unless Mr Card was quoting somebody else, or something, I have yet to see anything not suggesting contempt toward gay people.

    2. “Mean bullies want to take away my right to free speech by saying mean things about me. The only rational solution is for the government to treat their sex lives as criminal acts. Also my religion has no meaning if I can’t throw people in jail for having sex I don’t approve of.”

      Boy, good thing you provided that extra context. Otherwise I would have thought that Mr. Card was using unpersuasive logic.

    3. Good Gravy.  Barton wants to be the martyr.   I love how he knows the” hypocrites of homosexuality” were already going to label him  a Homophobe.  *CHOKE*  *SOB*     “My faith says the morality of homosexuality is wrong so am I wrong to stand by it. ”
        Ya,  you’re a dweeb that can’t think for himself and uses his faith as a crutch for your dislikes.   

  4. I’m never inclined to think this sort of boycott will amount to anything, but this guy is a real piece of work. I will almost certainly skip it.

  5. “But, but, but … it’s *intolerant* to criticize his intolerance.”

    Yeah, bullshit. I loved Ender’s Game, and I used to be a fan before Card started coming out of the closet about his dickishness.

    And yeah, sure, there’s a long, glorious tradition of people using their religion to try to excuse their dickishness. So what? Is that supposed to be some sort of trump card?

    1. I loved it too, when I was about 20. More recently I tried reading it again, and discovered it was crap. Awesome kids being awesome in space just isn’t as thrilling to me as it used to be, and the quality of the writing doesn’t hold up without that.

      Then I discovered he’s a huge tool. Turns out he’s a creationist too. I thought they called it “science” fiction for a reason.

      1. It would seem he’s relying rather heavily on the “fiction” portion of that tag.

  6. I can still torrent it though, right? He doesn’t get any money from that…though perhaps some free secondhand promotion.  Hm, how about I pirate it and then encourage others to do the same?  And spread the word that homophobes should die poor and lonely, even if they are great writers?

    Boycotts get complicated when they involve things you can get for free.

  7. Intolerance of the beliefs of others is wrong no matter who is ‘politically correct’ at any given moment. I look forward to seeing the movie in about five years on Netflix.

    1. Mr. Card has actively worked to prevent some of my family and friends to be treated equally under the law. I refuse to be “tolerant” of people backing discrimination, even if they use their beliefs as an excuse.

  8. OSC is a bit of a tool, etc., etc…  Let’s not bury the lede here.

    You didn’t like Ender’s Game?

  9. People are free to boycott whomever they want, but the Ender’s Game ship has sailed for the most part. Card has been paid for his work already and while you may keep him from getting some residuals or revenues off sequels, there’s not much to speak of here.

    How about boycotts against a company like Whole Foods, whose owner is a total Tea Party wingnut? There’s a company many of your readers actively support and their money is going to a guy who believes unions should be crushed, that climate change is a conspiracy, and that Obama is a fascist. He might be kinda right on the last one, but the first two should give people a lot of pause.

  10. I started reading this thinking “1990 was a long time ago, lots of people have changed their positions on gay rights within that span of time”. So I did a little more research and no, Mr. Card is still a bigot. For info on his more recent writing and activities on the subject check out this article from Salon:

  11. This might be a good time to start another honest discussion of the merits and pitfalls of separating the “Art” from the “Artist”. Nothing is created in a vacuum, but I think the author’s personal views should be secondary to the content of the work itself. Use your knowledge of the author to inform you understanding of the work, but don’t use it to dismiss the work outright. Frankly, if I was dismissive of an author/artist based on their personal views/personal lives, I would miss out on a lot, e.g. HP Lovecraft, Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, the list can go and on.

    So, if one dislikes/hates “Ender’s Game” for the content of the story (or the structure or the general writing, etc.), fine – skip the movie. If one’s only objection is that OSC is a douche (and, IMHO, he is), then one is doing oneself a disservice.

    1. When an artist’s “personal views” lead them to actively and publicly work to support discrimination, that necessarily affects how I react to their art.

      There are far more good artists who *aren’t* assholes than I can ever find the time and money for, so it’s not like my life will be poorer for avoiding the works of known assholes.

  12. Ya, you know.  If he  was saying he was for Slavery but it’s a moot point now that the supreme court ruled against slavery….Hey…its his right, we shouldn’t boycott him.   If he said that blacks were only 3/4th a person and then said, “but hey, it doesn’t matter since the Supreme court said they were fully human”  than why should we hold his past views against him?  I mean,  the supreme court has trumped his views so he is OKAY NOW.  Right?     oh… he’s only talking about gays and you know…his “god” told him it was okay.    So lets look past it.  I mean WHO HASN’T thought gays were “wrong”.    I sure want to make him richer…I’m sure he’ll support my rights as a homosexual with his money and influence.

    1. Yeah, it used to be that someone could oppose votes for women and support Jim Crow laws and nobody would blink an eye. It’s sad how America just keeps abandoning good traditional values in the face of creeping and intolerant political correctness.

      (Well, Jim Crow laws might be making a comeback, so I guess there’s still some hope.)

  13. … to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.

    This line of thinking reminds me a lot of the arguments that I see by people who are against birth control and abortion.

  14. I fully support bad people (or anyone) doing good things. So I won’t be participating in this boycott unless the movie itself is bad.

    I’m also going to see the Ring Cycle at Seattle Opera next month.

  15. I have an extremely simple solution to this dilemma. When there’s a movie I want to see but for whatever reason it deserves none of my money, I just buy a ticket to something more worthy that’s playing at the same time and switch theaters.

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