‘Ender’s Game’: To deflate boycott, Lionsgate shuns Orson Scott Card

July 12, 2013 | 2:07 p.m.
endersgame1 Enders Game: To deflate boycott, Lionsgate shuns Orson Scott Card

Hailee Steinfeld, left, and Asa Butterfield in a scene from "Ender's Game." (Summit Entertainment)

endersgame Enders Game: To deflate boycott, Lionsgate shuns Orson Scott Card

Harrison Ford, center, and Asa Butterfield, right, in a scene from "Ender's Game." (Richard Foreman Jr. / Summit Entertainment)

Trying to impede a boycott of its “Ender’s Game” movie sparked by anti-gay-marriage remarks made by the book’s author, Lionsgate has issued a statement distancing itself from novelist Orson Scott Card. The studio also said it will host an “Ender’s Game” benefit for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community.

Set for release Nov. 1, the sci-fi story adapts Card’s 1985 novel, set in a near future in which an alien race known as the Formics have attacked Earth. The movie stars Asa Butterfield as Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, a bright boy recruited to help humanity face future threats, and is directed by Gavin Hood (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”).

Although the novel is revered by many, Card’s political views have stirred great controversy. The writer has a history of making comments opposed to same-sex marriage, and his recent remarks about the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Defense of Marriage Act prompted the gay rights organization Geeks Out to call for a boycott of “Ender’s Game.”

“However much you may have admired his books, keep your money out of Orson Scott Card’s pockets,” the group said.

Card repeatedly has spoken and written about his opposition to gay rights and gay marriage. He has been active in the National Organization for Marriage, which recently wrote to supporters, “If we do not fight back against these governmental attacks on our fundamental right to act in the public square in support of the truth of marriage as God created it, then none of our cherished liberties and rights are safe.”

Writing in 1990, Card said, “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.”

In the Mormon Times in 2009, he wrote, “Married people attempting to raise children with the hope that they, in turn, will be reproductively successful, have every reason to oppose the normalization of homosexual unions.”

MORE: Orson Scott Card and Superman: Stoking fan rage

In its statement released Friday, Lionsgate said, “As proud longtime supporters of the LGBT community, champions of films ranging from ‘Gods and Monsters’ to ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ and a company that is proud to have recognized same-sex unions and domestic partnerships within its employee benefits policies for many years, we obviously do not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card and those of the National Organization for Marriage.”

At the same time, the studio asked that moviegoers not conflate the politics of Card, who is a producer of “Ender’s Game,” with the movie itself.

“The simple fact is that neither the underlying book nor the film itself reflect these views in any way, shape or form.  On the contrary, the film not only transports viewers to an entertaining and action-filled world, but it does so with positive and inspiring characters who ultimately deliver an ennobling and life-affirming message. Lionsgate will continue its longstanding commitment to the LGBT community by exploring new ways we can support LGBT causes and, as part of this ongoing process, will host a benefit premiere for ‘Ender’s Game.'”

In an earlier statement to Entertainment Weekly, Card said, “Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute…. ‘Ender’s Game’ is set more than a century in the future and has nothing to do with political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984.”

— John Horn

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Comments


65 Responses to ‘Ender’s Game’: To deflate boycott, Lionsgate shuns Orson Scott Card

  1. Paul says:

    "Lionsgate said, “As proud longtime supporters of the LGBT community, champions of films ranging from ‘Gods and Monsters’ to ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ and a company that is proud to have recognized same-sex unions and domestic partnerships within its employee benefits policies for many years, we obviously do not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card and those of the National Organization for Marriage.”

    So in other words: "We are only interested in profits."

  2. Juan says:

    they got in bed with the devil and now they have to deal with the fire. too bad so sad. thats what happens when you do business with a bigot.

  3. Vale says:

    I was going to go see it, but now I think I'll boycott all things Lionsgate instead.

  4. Bob Hernandez says:

    Two questions:

    A) How much will Card profit from the movie? Does he get a percentage of revenues or profits?

    B) When Card says "it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute" does he expect us to believe that he no longer disagrees with same-gender marriage, or hopes to "destroy" governments that recognize such marriages?

  5. Urban Libertarians says:

    As a libertarian I oppose all government regulation of relationships. Freedom of Association. As a fan of the book, I will go and see it 5 times just to defend his 1st amendment rights. Just like I defend your right to be with who you want. I think I will go and buy another copy of the book, hard cover. The speech that offends is the speech you should fight the hardest to defend. If you silence him, who is next?

  6. Katlin says:

    Bravo to Orson Scott Card, I will be buying extra tickets.

  7. TonyE says:

    "The simple fact is that neither the underlying book nor the film itself reflect these views in any way, shape or form."

    In the book, the enemy is referred to as "the Buggers." Clearly, you and Lionsgate need to get a slang dictionary.

  8. Gene H. says:

    Producer, eh? Good luck on your divorce. When Card started running his hateful mouth, it did free up about four feet of shelves in my library though. As much as I loved "Ender's Game" as a literary work, I have no intention of seeing the film. I try to judge art by it's own merits rather than by the artist, but sometimes you have to make an exception. While Card is entitled to both his opinion and to express it, he's also free to suffer the consequences of being a open bigot. He's also remarkably ignorant about science and law for a writer of so-called social science fiction. Homosexuality is a perfectly normal behavior for a small but statistically significant part of the species homo sapiens sapiens as it is for other species as well. It's genetic in origin although how the behavior expresses is shaped by social factors. A person can no more change being homosexual than they can change their eye color. That's the science. He's also seemingly seems to disregard the value of the 14th Amendment and the egalitarian values expressed in the Declaration of Independence. His "reasoning" is the kind of legal reasoning that kept Jim Crow laws in place for so long. Card was always a militarist. I can accept that in a writer in this day and age. Heinlein was practically a fascist and I'm still waiting for a good Heinlein film adaptation of "Stranger In A Strange Land" (and no, "Starship Troopers" doesn't count as good). Fascism is stupid, but it isn't bigotry ignorant nor openly hateful of people simply seeking equal treatment under the law. Sorry, Lion's Gate. Card said what he said in 1990. You knew what kind of person you were getting into business with. I hope you don't make a dime off of "Ender's Game". You won't make any from me.

  9. Notice that the "tolerant" left is chomping at the bit to silence someone who they (and in this case I) disagree with, but when Showtime recently broadcast Oliver Stone's "Untold History of the United States", which whitewashed the crimes of mass murder Joseph Stalin, and was literally based on Soviet propaganda, the supposedly "intolerant" right limited itself to writing articles pointing out the movies fallacies, but organized no boycott or any other action against Showtime or Stone.

  10. Yoda says:

    There’s also the compromise option – see it eventually, but wait a few days so you’re not counted in the opening-weekend take.

  11. Seymour says:

    Orson Scott Card is not just anti-gay marriage. His homophobic comments go WAY beyond that. He and Lionsgate are now trying to spin it as anti-gay marriage because that's about the kindest stance he has taken towards the LGTBQ community. In fact, he has said he thinks homosexuality should be illegal and he doesn't think gays and lesbians should be equal citizens.

    Also, he's suggesting a boycott of his film is "intolerant", yet he is an active member of NOM, which boycotts General Mills for not being against the LGBTQ community. So apparently, to Orson Scott Card, a boycott is acceptable as long as you're on his side (or not making a dent in his wallet).

  12. Fred says:

    Card said, “Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute…. ‘Ender’s Game’ is set more than a century in the future and has nothing to do with political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984.”

    He now wants to dictate tolerance? lmao.

  13. Frank Samuels says:

    Actually tempted to boycott to keep money out of the hands of the distributors at Lionsgate. They have a long history of putting out schlock, but somehow grabbed the rights to Hunger Games and Ender's Game. Texas Chainsaw 3D, Hostel II, are standard fare but somehow those contributions to cultural degradation don't matter, because hey the company is down with LGBTQ. If Lionsgate really wanted to put their money where their "social conscience" is, they would have sold the distribution rights to Walden Media or some other distributor for production costs and donated half the proceeds to HRC or some similar group rather than doing a half-assed benefit.

  14. quatloosx says:

    The most bigoted people of all are those who obsessively brand other people as bigots.

  15. FrechChef says:

    It looks like Mr. Card is finally going to find out, in dollars and cents, just how unpopular his anti-gay, anti-Constitution, anti-elected representatives screed is. Remember, he doesn't just oppose equality, he opposes our representative form of government. Tolerance of Card's unAmerican views doesn't mean Americans are required to give him our money. Sorry, Lionsgate, but it isn't as if you were unaware of how disturbingly unAmerican Card is.

  16. MrTemecula says:

    Loved the book…not going to see the movie because of the author's views. Just practicing my freedom of disassociation because of personal beliefs.

  17. Mr crawford says:

    Horse manure. Most of the viewers of this movie won’t give a hoot one way or another. They’ll go see what’s put in front of them without knowing or caring about politics. They just want to be entertained.you live in a time where the majority don’t read – they watch TV. You guys are a bunch of geeks with intelligence and opinions, one way or another. Most of the rats running to the cineplex just don’t care.

  18. Hayden Matthews says:

    There is something that I think is being overlooked here. I find OSC’s position completely morally abhorrent, however, I can’t deny the quality of Ender’s Game as a story, and I can’t deny how long I’ve wanted to see it as a film.

    It reminds me about how people are apt to worship historical figures like Thomas Jefferson and Joseph Conrad. While completely forgetting that these men were really bloody rascist.

    What I am trying to ask is how do you reconsile finding a person’s view abhorrent, with really enjoying what they do?

  19. qwe says:

    agree with card, mostly.

  20. Larry Murray says:

    Orson Scott Card is still on the board of the National Organization for Marriage, a hate organization that still works to deny gays equality, and he still espouses his moral objections to homosexuality, yet he demands "tolerance" from those he would make second class citizens? I could not in good conscience spend money on a film the jerk will profit from.

  21. RaptorMx says:

    Quite frankly, I'm tired of LGBT agenda being forced on the public as if it's Hollywood's own agenda to change the way people think. That's the same way all extemists force their ideas on the public. The movie has nothing to do with Card's comments or the organization he supports. What ever happened to Freedom of Speech…or is that just for LGBTs an not those who disagree with them. What ever happened to tolerance of other's opinions. Get over it. It's a movie, not a political statement. Go have some fun and stop being so self righteous!

  22. elfraed says:

    People are free to do as they please under their own roof. That's their business. However,marriage is a social contract with societal benefits. With rights (& benefits) come responsibilities. Marriage of man and woman has the potential to naturally produce the next generation and rear it to carry on the culture. Even when they don't have children, they provide a proper example of husband and wife for the next generation to emulate. It is a responsibility to oneself and to the whole of our culture. Any other "marriage" is simulacra. Gays do not naturally reproduce nor contribute anything to the institution of marriage for the maintenance of society ! Why, therefore, should they be granted a license and benefits from society ? Maybe that is what the "gay marriage" thing is really about – Not continuing the culture.

  23. RJJ says:

    @elfraed

    The fact that some married couples don't reproduce make the point of procreation irrelevant regarding marriage. You also don't need marriage to "naturally reproduce" to continue the human species. We are a mammal species that procreates just like many other mammal species in the animal kingdom. Marriage is a human invention. Given the divorce rates, marriage certainly isn't the 'maintenance of society". Gay marriage doesn't prevent heterosexual marriage from occurring, and gay families raise children with studies showing no less harm than straight families. If you read past essays from Orson scott card, his views of homosexuality are directly tied with the Mormon church, yet an individual cannot dictate their own personal religious views on others concerning civil marriage.

  24. Chad says:

    The intelligent and thoughtfull conversations here give me ultimate hope in our race and working through our disagreements. I have no political agenda and understand the non-radical points of both sides. I will see the movie along with some of my gay friends and take from it the entertainment it was meant to be.

  25. Ian Flowers says:

    I married a carrot thirteen years ago and we gave birth to a daikon. Does that make me anti-apple?

  26. God says:

    I will be buying a ton of tickets! Card you have out done yourself!

  27. IceWolf says:

    Hey people, "Ender's Game" is a whole separate fantasy world made for people who enjoy this kind of literature,you don't have to boycott a movie because someone has a different aspect of beliefs than yourself, I myself am pro-homosexual marriage and I myself believe you should not take away your enjoyment or anyone else's on the fact that there is a disagreement. This movie, like all others, was created purely to entertain people, this whole "gay marriage war" that is strictly a whole new area and should not be anyway connected to this film. Their are many people out their in the world who share the same views as Orson Scott Card and so what if he is making a profit of this film , there are most likely hundreds of people making a large profit and are anti -gay marriage. This whole boycott thing is just going to get in people's way of enjoyment and it's unfair that people such as I have to suffer not being able to watch a movie with friends and family based on a terrific novel in which I greatly much enjoyed. So in conclusion, you guys that are going to boycott this film should just drop it and move on it doesn't matter, take it somewhere else because your getting in the way of people's lives.

  28. Ken says:

    in·tol·er·ance: unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect contrary opinions or beliefs.

    There is intolerance, and there are differing opinions.
    How do you make a better world when you not only become what you hate, but actually take it to a further degree than those you vehemently disagree with?
    Becoming what you hate not only makes you the same as what you hate, it makes you the ultimate hypocrite.
    Everyone has a right to believe what they want and to support what they believe, just not to shove it down someones throat. That is what is causing the friction between traditional and gay beliefs.
    Believe what you want, support what you want, just don't shove your beliefs in my face.
    You in the LGBT community had better reassess your intolerant, hate ridden attitudes before you take hatred and intolerance to a level never before seen. Don't become what you hate so much.
    Don't blame it on the traditional minded people, you alone made the decision to think like you do.
    Take personal responsibility for you actions. You alone make the decisions in your life,
    We all had better remember the difference between intolerance and differing opinions, or we all will sink together.
    If you don't like intolerance, don't become intolerant. If you do, you rob yourself of legitimacy.
    You don't have to like a traditional mindset, you do have to live with it.
    Visa versa.
    (Read Chads comment and learn from him.)

  29. Mari says:

    I don’t give a crap abt Card’s views. I want to see the movie and I’m going to see the movie.

    There are many celebs, directors and producers who do not think and act constructively in their lives. Yet we see their movies.

    Also, Card is a member of a strict religion. Their beliefs are their beliefs.

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