Orson Scott Card's controversial views about gay marriage and homosexuality in general are not new. He's been expressing them for years, in fact. But with the feature adaptation of Card's novel Ender's Game arriving in theaters this fall, and set to be promoted at Comic-Con in San Diego next week, the writer and the film are making headlines as some are calling for a boycott of the movie in protest of the writer's views. Summit-Lionsgate seems to have distanced themselves from Card while promoting the film. For example, they they reference the best-selling book on the poster, but make no mention of Card's name. And it's also worth pointing out that he's not among the panelists promoting the film at Comic-Con next week. Today, Lionsgate Entertainment approached the subject more directly, issuing the following statement about their take on Card's outspoken views on homosexuality and their plans to host a benefit premiere as one of the ways they can support LGBT causes.
“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.”
Lionsgate's response, which notes their support of the LGBT community through their attachments to certain films, and states that they don't agree with Card's views, comes just days after Card issued his own response to the controversy, which was making headlines due to Geeks OUT's call to boycott the film.
It's a tricky subject, particularly for those of us who disapprove of Card's views but appreciate his book, and were/are looking forward to Ender's Game. It forces us to ask ourselves if it's some kind of betrayal or act of hypocrisy to want to see the movie even if we disagree with Card's views on marriage and homosexuality. Especially when we take into account the point Lionsgate made about Card's personal views on this issue having nothing to do with the subject matter of the story, which is set in the future and follows a gifted child who is equal parts brilliant and compassionate.
With the above said, just as Card has a right to speak his mind on his own personal political and religious beliefs, people have a right to disagree with those beliefs and to show their disapproval with their wallets if that's the choice they want to make. But it does raise an interesting question about where to draw that line. And again, it comes down to personal choice as to what movies you would choose to see or not see based on the political or religious beliefs of the people involved in them. Of course, that issue gets more complicated when you consider that supporting or not supporting a film affects more than just one person. And then there are those who will separate their personal beliefs on political and social issues from how they choose which movies to see, which is also a personal choice.
Does Lionsgate's statement about Orson Scott Card change your decision to see or not see Ender's Game?