Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Why I Won't Be Seeing Ender's Game

Most of you have probably heard about the controversy surrounding Orson Scott Card. If you haven't, let me sum up: Card is a huge, hateful dick who hates gay people and ignores the LBT part of the GLBT community. To see some of his more hateful quotes, you can read this Salon article. Or you can try. Enter his most famous work of art: the science fiction novel Ender's Game. Considered one of the best examples of sci-fi, the novel has won multiple awards and has made Card a well-known, profitable, and beloved author. The movie, long awaited by loyal fans, is opening in November, and its imminent release has renewed the controversy surrounding the man.

I read Ender's Game in seventh or eighth grade, which would have been sometime around 2000. I didn't know about Card's intolerance. I was living in a small town, attending a small Christian school. Sheltered is an understatement. I loved fantasy and got a lot of shit about that from my peers and teachers alike. My brother-in-law suggested I read Ender's Game. I loved it. Ender, the main character, read as compassionate, brave, and a little lost. I could relate to the emotions, if not the crazy setting. In the next three years, I read many more of Card's novels. As I became more socially aware, I was slightly bothered by his representation of women in his novels, but I brushed that aside because I liked the stories. In 2004, I read this article by Card, which is a diatribe against marriage equality. I was actually reading one of Card's novels at this point. I kept reading it. And that's when all of my misgivings about his female characters and all of the conservative undertones became too hard to ignore. In most of Card's novels the homophobia, sexism, and weird religion shows itself in subtext, but in his non-fiction it is front and center. Once I had read the non-fiction, I couldn't ignore the hateful subtext in the fiction.

Because of his personal views, Card ruined his art for me. His subtext became text. His worldview is hateful, and now I can't help but see the hate seeping through his stories, and for this reason, I won't be seeing the movie of Ender's Game. I'll be boycotting it. Not because I don't want to see it, or because I think it will be a bad movie. I actually think it will be a good movie. But my love of movies and good stories cannot and does not trump my love of human rights. In response to calls for this boycott, Card said, "With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot," which ignores the other issues facing the LGBT community. This is not a man who is sorry for his actions and words. This is not a man who has learned from the negative responses to his vitriolic writing. This is a man who wants you to go see his movie in spite of his hateful views. This is a man who only uses tolerance when he feels the consequential sting of his writings. And I am not falling for it. Mr. Card, take your novels, your movie, and your antiquated worldview and choke on them.


  1. An important thing to note, in addition to what you've written, is that Card is not just a writer with political, religious, and personal views I disagree with. He is an outspoken activist. He is a board member for the National Organization for Marriage, which is a hate group. If I'm not going to eat at Chik-fil-a, I'm certainly not going to give money to OSC. For me to see Ender's Game, he would have to resign from NOM and promise to stop giving money to those kinds of organizations.

    1. Very true, Amy. He's specifically using his wealth to influence politics and policies.