Tolerance For Intolerance: Boycotting Ender’s Game: Ender’s Game is one of my favorite books from high school. The movie looks pretty rad. I love Harrison Ford. I like shiny things and smart science-fiction.
And yet, I’m not going to go see Ender’s Game.
Orson Scott Card has toxic politics shot through with not merely a thread but a full-on threaded steel cable of bigotry and ignorance. And so, I’m gonna boycott the film. Now, to clarify, I’m not saying you should or have to do the same. You do as you like. No harm, no foul.
But I thought I’d highlight why I’m gonna boycott. First, I don’t want to reward bigotry. Particularly financially. Second, it is safe to assume OSC spends his money on supporting this ignorance and bigotry given that he serves the National Organization for Marriage (which, benevolent as it sounds, is more about defining and limiting marriage than it is about Yay Marriage For Everybody). This is a pretty good sum-up of his toxic politics — and it’s worth noting that he equates homosexuality with genetic error and the “end of democracy,” though at the same time seems to believe that homosexuality’s, erm, origin story is one tied in with rape and molestation at a young age. This is venomous shit, and I don’t want to pay him to sling it.
Me? Art is art. Entertainment is entertainment. To say that one's dislike of Orson Scott Card's poisonous politics should keep you from having an experience you would otherwise enjoy is to give him a power over you he doesn't deserve: your seeing Ender's Game does not put yourself in any sort of reciprocal gift-exchange relationship with him.
And he isn't going to spend more than $0.01 of your ticket price on poisonous propaganda. So go to the movie, enjoy it--and then match what you paid for the ticket, spend it supporting some worthy political cause, and tell everybody you are doing so.
In fact, were I Lionsgate Pictures, right now I would announce that I would contribute 5% of the first-weekend gross to the marriage equality cause…
What Lionsgate has done is write a letter:
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. However, they are completely irrelevant to a discussion of ENDER’S GAME. 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.