Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ender's Game: Should you boycott the movie?

Oh wow. I've posted a few entries on the upcoming Ender's Game movie based on Orson Scott Card's sci-fi novel, the last one this past May. I had no idea this controversy was brewing, no idea that the author was not only anti-gay, but stridently and powerfully so as member of the board of the National Association for Marriage, a group  that worked hard in opposition to gay marriage. According to a thoughtful piece in the Los Angeles Times, Card isn't just opposed to gay marriage; he's opposed to homosexuals, period. He wrote the following in 1990:     
“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.”
Despicable right? So despicable there's a movement calling for a boycott of the November 1st theatrical release.  I completely disagree with Cards' views - he's an ugly neanderthal as I see it - but I'm not sure a boycott of the film - which I understand doesn't present any of those views - is the appropriate response. Take a look at the controversy in this post pulled in its entirety from deadline.com and let me know what you think. Do we judge and appreciate art in and of itself; or do we take our view of the artist's character into account? The Times article has some provocative thinking on the issue. 
"Just six days remain until Lionsgate brings its new big budget sci-fi franchise Ender’s Game to Comic-Con, where the studio is keeping controversial author and anti-gay advocate Orson Scott Card out of its panel line-up. But an online protest calling out Card for his inflammatory past remarks has now prompted Lionsgate to step into the fray for some damage control. The “Skip Ender’s Game” petition hosted by Geeks OUT calls for fans to boycott the Summit-released November 1 pic in theaters, on DVD, and On Demand and to avoid buying merchandising and toys to “keep your money out of Orson Scott Card’s pockets.” Card responded to the furor with his own cry for tolerance last week, which only stoked the fire. The studio today announced unspecified plans to host a benefit premiere to support LGBT causes. Here’s Lionsgate’s statement:
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.
Dominic Patten contributed to this report. "

2 comments:

  1. I think it is fine to boycott a movie because you disagree with the views of the people involved. For instance, I no longer eat Papa John's pizza based on the owners comments about how awful the new health care law it and that it would cost him 14 cents per pizza to provide health care for his workers. There's nothing wrong with the pizza, but his politics force me to make another choice. I think the same can be done for movies. We have other choices.

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    1. I love your politics Paulita, glad to hear you're putting your money where your mouth is too! Also, I never liked his pizza anyway.
      I think choice is the key word too and respect both points of view. I'm sure I'm spelling this wrong but "Chacon a son gout" Hopefully I'm not messing up the French spelling so much that you don't recognize the phrase. My dad told me it roughly translated as 'each to his own taste'. In this case the choice for me is easy as Ender's Game wasn't a movie I'd rush out to see anyway. I'm honestly not sure how I'd feel if it was a film of greater importance. Still wrestling with myself over that one.

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