In an effort to defuse a brewing boycott of its science fiction film “Ender’s Game,” movie studio Lionsgate has disavowed the anti-gay views of author Orson Scott Card. Card, a Mormon, has publicly opposed efforts to legalize gay marriage and called for enforcement of anti-gay laws.
“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,” Lionsgate wrote in a statement.
They seem to have a point.
In its statement, the company says that Card’s views are “irrelevant” when it comes to the film made from his book. “The simple fact is that neither the underlying book nor the film itself reflect these views in any way, shape or form,” the statement continues.
Again, not a bad point. It takes hundreds of creative people to put a movie together. Card’s involved -- he gets a producer credit -- but he didn’t even write the screenplay. Director Gavin Hood did.
“Could the Ender’s Game boycott actually sink the movie?” asks Charlie Jane Anders at io9. The post notes, “it seems entirely possible that the mainstream media will be too busy debating Card’s views, and moviegoers will come away with a vague sense that this is a movie about gay-bashing. (The fact that the aliens are called ‘Buggers’ probably does not help.)”
Despite Card’s views -- which include asserting this week that gay rights were not an issue when the book was written in 1984 -- “Ender’s Game” and its sequels about a futuristic children’s space army remain beloved books. It could be inferred that many readers have overlooked Card’s anti-gay stance in order to enjoy his science fiction, or perhaps they just didn’t know.
Lionsgate wants viewers to forget about Card and think about the movie -- “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,” its release says.
In a gesture of goodwill, the film company says it plans to host a pro-LBGT benefit premiere for “Ender’s Game.” Its press team did not respond to our request for further details about the benefit.