How To End Ender's Game
Despite the popularity of the bestselling science fiction novel "Ender's Game," its film adaptation faces serious boycotts due to homophobic comments made by the book's author, Orson Scott Card.
Anti-Gay Remarks Spark Protest
The movie is due for release November 1st, 2013, but members of the GLBT community and its supporters will skip the film, and they're encouraging others to follow suit. They have a website, skipendersgame.com, which was started by the activist group Geeks Out in response to remarks by Card.
Card made comments supporting anti-gay legislation in 1990, reports the Los Angeles Times, and continued to do so in publications like Mormon Times in 2009 and recently with the National Organization of Marriage, on which he sits on the board of directors.
The "Ender's Game" film is written and directed by Gavin Hood, ("X-Men Origins: Wolverine"), but Card is signed on as a producer, giving him a percentage of the movie's box office sales. In an attempt to distance itself from Card, the movie's production company Lionsgate released a statement rejecting Card's personal views and acknowledging its support for gay and lesbian rights.
Card also released a statement to Entertainment Weekly responding to the threats of boycott, but held his ground regarding his personal opinions. Card said he hoped the supporters of gay marriage would "show tolerance" toward those who disagree, but it could be a plea fallen on deaf ears. Despite statements by both Card and Lionsgate, Geeks Out encourages everyone, no matter how much they love the books, not to buy a ticket to the movie or even rent the DVD in the following months.
Will a Boycott Help - Or Hurt?
While some groups work to keep moviegoers out of the theater, others ponder the effectiveness of a boycott at all. While Card's remarks are intolerant, the story of "Ender's Game" is quite the opposite. The book's protagonist, Ender Wiggins, is a young boy recruited by the military who often speaks of an equal and tolerant future. Sarah Dropek of Policymic.com says that despite Card's views, there is a positive message to be learned by those who would see the movie.
Other films that now play regularly on networks through www.directstartv.com experienced a fair share of boycotting, but the end result didn't put a serious dent on the movie's revenue. In 1999, the movie "Dogma" received threats of boycott threats due to insults toward the Catholic church, but it still ended up becoming one of director Kevin Smith's most popular flicks. In some cases, the hype drawn from a boycott actually helps the film, as was the case with "The Da Vinci Code."
"Ender's Game" is still expected to make big money in the box office. Once the movie is out for several weeks, the effects of the boycotts will be more visible. Until then, Lionsgate and Card will just have to do their best to downplay the negative press and hope fans of political movies will still flock to see the film.
by Scott Grayson