With ComiCon–the hajj of geekdom–rapidly approaching, Lionsgate–the studio behind sci-fi flick Ender’s Game, based on the novel by homo-hater Orson Scott Card who is also a producer on the movie–is scrambling to control the damage that Card’s nastiness is inflicting on the potential box office receipts. Geek’s Out has gotten the word out to skip Ender’s Game; and Lionsgate, which has a big push planned at ComiCon (though Card will not be on hand), is clearly concerned, issuing this 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.”
Keep in mind I’m a straight woman, so it’s up to the LGBT community to decide how they want to play this, but my initial response is fuck no.
Because Orson Scott Card is a producer of Ender’s Game. Because he will make money if it is a hit. Because he tithes 10% of that money back to the Mormon Church which fought long and hard against marriage equality. Because Card is on NOM’s Board of Directors.
Oh hai, we’ll host a premier and give you money.
REALLY? Come see this movie based on works by a man who hates you, and let us throw dollars to staunch the pain that his words and deeds, that his money donated to campaigns against you has caused. And then maybe you’ll tell all your friends it’s a good movie and we can make some money back off this PR nightmare. Because everyone has a price. Fuck you, Lionsgate.
Here’s what Geek’s Out wrote earlier this week:
This is not and has never been about a much beloved sci-fi novel. Leaving aside the fact that Card thinks gay civil rights didn’t exist in the mid-80s, which is pretty insulting to the post-Stonewall generation frontline against a little something called AIDS—this is about us, here and now. This is about our community refusing to financially support an extreme anti-gay activist with a very public record of far-right comments against gay rights and marriage equality as concepts and LGBT folk as human beings…
Orson Scott Card, we can tolerate your anti-gay activism, your right-wing extremism, your campaign of fear-mongering and insults, but we’re not going to pay you for it. You’ve got the right to express your opinions and beliefs any way you choose—but you don’t have a right to our money.
How many homophobic billboards and absurd “Gathering Storm” ads would a new fortune built off of Ender’s Game lunchboxes buy for NOM? Now would be an ideal time to hear from Lionsgate, as we know them to be a company of open hearts and allies of LGBT families. Now would be a great time, too, to hear from the cast and creative team behind Ender’s Game who have no connection to the author’s anti-gay activities and who’ve been vocal supporters of gay rights in the past. How do you cut this guy a check?
Lionsgate responded, but basically by saying
If we give you money, you’ll shut up, right?