Orson Scott Card and his work (both in fiction and as a board member of the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage) have been at the center of a brewing controversy in the comics industry, ever since DC’s recent announcement that he’d be one of the writers on a digital-first Superman anthology. And unlike most comics controversies, this one is actually reaching the occasional mainstream news outlet, a fact which has not gone unnoticed by executives at the company in charge of a big-budget adaptation of Card’s Ender’s Game, Summit Entertainment, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
For any other long-awaited faithful movie adaptation of a decades old beloved novel that includes the author as a producer, including said author in big publicity events would be a no brainer, but it seems that Summit is seriously considering otherwise. From THR:
“I don’t think you take him to any fanboy event,” says one studio executive. “This will definitely take away from their creative and their property.” Another executive sums up the general consensus: “Keep him out of the limelight as much as possible.”
Creators of science-fiction with conservative views are nothing new to fandom, but Card’s status as a board member of the National Organization for Marriage, one of the largest and most well funded anti-gay activist groups in America, which works to prevent not only marriage equality but also civil union legislation and to legally prevent LGBTQ couples from adopting, is for many, including this writer, a different beast than mere personally held conservative views that might enter the subtext of a story or be voiced, when asked, by a writer or artist. Card has publicly expressed his views on gay marriage as worth overthrowing the government for, linked homosexuality with pedophilia, argued that marriage equality will lead to a world where parents who encourage their kids to date members of the opposite sex will be accused of hate speech, and has stated that he would prefer laws that criminalize consensual homosexual sex to stand and be enforced as a “message.” His presence on the board of NOM gives him more power to actually effect his opinions on others than your average celebrity with socially conservative political leanings.
Card’s political views often come as a shock to his readers because his most well known books espouse a philosophy that many find completely at odds with his personal views. Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead, and Xenocide are books where humanity’s greatest failure was in not sensing the humanity of those who were different, where respecting the existence and culture of sentient creatures while at the same time constantly reevaluating non-sentient creatures to make sure humanity isn’t recreating the failure of Ender’s Game is a central theme, and where unquestioning fundamentalism is the downfall of an entire planet. Whatever the effect of Card’s personal politics and political work has on the Ender’s Game movie, my fervent hope is that it at least teaches a few more people to be tolerant and openminded than NOM teaches to be intolerant and closeminded.
(via The Hollywood Reporter.)