Lionsgate Responds to Geek’s Out “Skip Ender’s Game” Campaign: “We’ll Give You Money”

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:

NOM Board Member and Ender’s Game author Orson Scott Card’s tone-deaf plea for “tolerance” from pro-gay marriage forces, first given to Entertainment Weeklystruck such a sour note with so many because it seems to miss the point entirely.

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?

7 Responses to "Lionsgate Responds to Geek’s Out “Skip Ender’s Game” Campaign: “We’ll Give You Money”"
spocko | Friday July 12, 2013 03:35 pm 1

So yesterday one of my favorite SF authors, Lois McMaster Bujold, was on Reddit doing a Ask me Anything interview to promote the e-release of some books with other authors.

So I asked her about this exact topic. Here is my question and her response.

[–]spockosbrain 4 points 13 hours ago*

For Ms Bujold. First, I love your work. Since Miles has to deal with politics and cultural issues all the time I’m going to ask you a political and cultural question. Approval of same sex marriage has been sweeping the US. Do you approve?

If people disagree with your stance on same sex marriage should they not see a movie based on one of your books? Should they boycott reading and buying your Vorkosigan books even if they have nothing to do with the topic?

I ask because of the upcoming Ender’s Game movie. I loved the book but I disagree strongly with Card’s stated politics on this issue. I’m conflicted on what message I am sending if I go to the movie.

This is relevant because of your book Ethan of Athos, a book that was set on a world of men. Only men. I believe most of the men were gay. (I read it in 1989 so I don’t remember all the details). Men had babies using a machine with a female uterus to have babies. Mostly male babies if i remember correctly.

The machine was failing and one of the men needed to go out to the world of men and women and get a new one. He had to deal with prejudices of other people and other worlds.

Did people attack this book and you because of your pro same sex relationship views? Have people told you they will not buy/ read your books because of your views on same sex relationships?

That book was written in 1986. Have your views changed? What do you think about Card and his views? Do you think they will change? Have you talked to him about this?

[–]LoisBujoldLois McMaster Bujold, author of Shards of Honor, Vorkosigan Saga 7 points 11 hours ago

Well, personally, I’m not sure anyone should get married, but that said, I think gays should have all the same rights to screw up their lives as straights do.

Yes, that remark is tongue-in-cheek, but not very.

I believe Ethan of Athos is too obscure a book to have generated much fallout for me. All kinds of people can disagree with an author’s worldview; in general, the best solution to me seems to be to go on to some more congenial author’s books. Apparently, in my case, they do.

Tens of thousands of books published die every year of simple obscurity. One does not need to attack a book; they may simply be ignored to death, much more efficiently.

There have been no movies based on my books, nor any on the horizon, so that question is alas wholly hypothetical for me.

Ta, L.


spocko | Friday July 12, 2013 03:37 pm 2

Here is my follow up question and comment.
n 1 point 11 hours ago

Thank you for your response. I’m surprised that there are no books of yours on the horizon. That stinks. Any idea why? Surely they have been optioned. Too complex for Hollywood?

I would think following the success of GoT that a story with a short hero set on a backwards world with lots of fighting would be hot. NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD PRODUCERS. “Get on this!”

[–]LoisBujoldLois McMaster Bujold, author of Shards of Honor, Vorkosigan Saga 4 points 10 hours ago

This would actually be harder than it looks, as so much of importance in my books is what is going on inside the characters’ heads. Imagine what Miles would look like with all of his internal dialogue and thoughts removed. You’d lose almost all the humor, for one thing.

Actually, I think the best movies could probably be made of Falling Free (animated or anime?), or The Spirit Ring — alas that Ray Harryhausen is no longer with us.

Ta, L.


ThingsComeUndone | Friday July 12, 2013 03:38 pm 3

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.

Just what is this positive life affirming message that is so important that we are suppose to over look a person with views I at least think are hateful and stupid?
Why should I give Ender’s game a chance if it will make this worm and his hate promoting church rich?


Funnydiva2002 | Friday July 12, 2013 03:39 pm 4

Hey, Lisa
Dropped by FDL, and this is the front page post. So I just had to log in and tell you I think it’s _great_! You rock!
In particular, this:

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.

made me wanna holler “you go, girl!”. Because it struck me as a really perfect way to acknowledge that straightsplainin’ is a potential pitfall and that you’re consciously avoiding it while still speaking for yourself.
I don’t mean that to be condescending at all. It’s just that not everyone gets the concept of ‘splainin’, and I’m really glad to see that you’re someone who does. And it gives me an example of how I might go about avoiding ‘splainin’ when I have an opinion on something outside my own lived experience. Thanks for that!


lorimakesquilts | Friday July 12, 2013 06:14 pm 5

I loved Ender’s Game and I would like to see the movie, but I’m not going to. Orson Scott Card’s association with the Mormon church as well as his nasty views on LGBT’s in general and his views on equal marriage are enough for me. But my reservations also have to do with women’s rights. His female characters in Ender’s Game and in the whole series tend to be males in disguise as far as his characterization goes. When there are any — two females in the entire book that aren’t simply extras? Gimme a break.


Lisa Derrick | Friday July 12, 2013 06:52 pm 6
In response to Funnydiva2002 @ 4

Thanks!


Lisa Derrick | Saturday July 13, 2013 12:33 pm 7

Here is Geeks OUT’s official response to Lionsgate:

As proud members of the LGBT community, champions of creative freedom and honest self-expression, and a group at whom the film Ender’s Game is directly marketed, we appreciate Lionsgate’s record of doing good things and its admirable, strongly worded rejection of Ender’s Game author Orson Scott Card’s and the National Organization for Marriage’s anti-gay activism.

The simple fact is that Skip Ender’s Game has never been about the content of the novel or the film Ender’s Game. It’s about money. It’s about the money the company has already paid to Card and the potential millions he and the National Organization for Marriage stand to make off of the success of the film—our money.

A benefit premiere, indeed any outreach to the LGBT community by Lionsgate, ought to be much appreciated. What’s clear is that whether or not they support his views, Lionsgate is standing by their man and their would-be blockbuster. They made the common, perhaps cynical, calculation that audiences wouldn’t connect Ender’s Game with Card’s very public homophobia—or wouldn’t care. Geeks OUT appreciates that most American families work for every dollar and care deeply about where that money goes and what it supports.

Skip Ender’s Game is not a threat; it is a reality. Our pledge adds hundreds of signtatures every day from sci-fi fans around the world who would rather stay home than support homophobia. We have only just started and Geeks OUT and its allies are prepared to carry on past November 1. Nothing Card nor Lionsgate has said changes the fact that skipping Ender’s Game is the easiest way to ensure none of your dollars go to Orson Scott Card’s and the National Organization for Marriage’s extreme anti-gay agenda.


Sorry but the comments are closed on this post

Close