Is It Ok To Watch Ender's Game If Orson Scott Card Doesn't Profit From It?

Thursday, 31 October 2013 - 12:00PM
Sci-Fi Books
Thursday, 31 October 2013 - 12:00PM

I'm incredibly happy that Gavin Hood's Ender's Game adaptation is finally here. Not just because it's a movie I have anticipated ever since I read the book, but also because it means we can actually pay attention to a long-awaited piece of cinema history and not the controversy that surrounds it. Or at least that is how it should be. But things never quite work out like that, do they?


The furore that has mired the Ender's Game movie hasn't been caused by its stars - Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield or Sir Ben Kingsley  Nor has it been caused by any of the issues addressed in the story. No, this controversy has all been based around the ignorant views of the man that wrote this book over 30 years ago. Orson Scott Card, as you will no doubt be aware of by now, has regularly spoken out against the notion of gay marriage, angering many LGBT groups, liberals and pretty much anyone with an ounce of sense. These people have every right to speak out against Card's abhorrent views and their protests have ranged from open letters to Card, right through to attempts at rallying people to boycott the film.


Legendary Pictures and Director Gavin Hood have insisted that nobody involved with the production of this adaptation share Card's views in any way. In fact, at this year's San Diego Comic Con, Legendary announced that they would be donating proceeds from the film's Premiere to LGBT causes. Yet, with the movie's North American release looming, the protests continue with certain parties maintaining their calls for a mass boycott.


So where does that leave someone like myself, someone who disagrees with Card's views, but loves Ender's Game and is excited to see it brought to life on the big screen? Does it make me a bad person if I choose to ignore the calls for a boycott and opt to see the movie despite the views of Card? It shouldn't, and I hope that protesters don't attempt to make people feel bad for watching the movie, because at the end of the day, we are fans of science fiction and Ender's Game is one of the greatest novels ever written within this wonderful and inspiring genre. 


The Wrap recently discovered that, according to insiders working on the movie, Orson Scott Card will not receive a penny of the box office dollars taken by Legendary Pictures in the coming weeks. Many of these protests centered around the fact that by going to watch Ender's Game in the theater, one would be placing money into the pocket of a bigot. But if he isn't actually going to receive any money, does this clear the way for 'fence-sitters' to go and watch the movie, or is there still an inherent conflict of beliefs at play here? 


Some writers, including Wired's Rachel Edidin will still be boycotting Ender's Game and all future works of Orson Scott Card. Her reasons are all valid ones, but for myself, I have to believe that it is possible to separate the art from the artist. I accept that this is not always possible, because sometimes the issues can become so overriding that one cannot see past them.


Despite my opinions on Orson Scott Card, I for one will be going to see Ender's Game. This movie doesn't represent an authors views, it represents the bringing to life of a science fiction classic. It represents a labor of love for so many people. A point that Josh Dickey makes in his article for 'The Wrap' rings true for me. If you are boycotting this movie for fear of filling a bigot's coffers, you are better off boycotting his books, because it appears that Mr.Card will not profit from Gavin Hood's production. If you cannot see past this man's hateful views, then please, do not watch it.  Not that I think they would, but I hope that people opting to boycott it do not choose to make people like myself feel bad for their choices.

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