Skip “Ender’s Game”: Geeks OUT Making an Impact

Thanks to Geeks OUT, the bad vibes on Ender’s Game are being felt beyond the LGBT community. Tonight I went to a signing at La Luz de Jesus, our local Los Feliz art gallery/alt.culture general store (books, candy, action figures, robots, stationery, statuary, shower curtains, rugs, blankets, stuffed toys, candles, flashlights, purses, clothing, tee shirts, make-up, perfume, soap,  CDs, jewelry, bones, taxidermy, Haitian sequined prayer flags–basically any thing you’d need to survive emergency gift-giving, lost luggage, a bad break up, or an earthquake) for Heavenly Bodies, Dr. Paul Koudounaris’ glorious photo book full of images of bejeweled skeletons, cult figures from a bygone time when  saints were believed to have worked miracles.

Matt Kennedy, the gallery director, and I were chatting about what we were going this weekend. Matt’s really into comics (he recently scored an original panel from Gasoline Alley, one that contains a pivotal plot point), loves weird history and science fiction (he and his wife play a drinking game centering around the TV show  Ancient Aliens–narrator says “alien” and you drink; narrator says “extra-terrestrial,” and you take three sips, etc.),  and has an encyclopedic knowledge of movies. In the midst of our geeking out I blurted:

Please don’t go see Ender’s Game!

He replied vehemently:

No way! No way would I see that. And I gotta tell you, a guy came in from the the film company, wanting to put up a poster from the movie and said, ‘Hey, maybe we could do a promotion with you.’ I told told him, ‘No, that’s not gonna happen,’ and he shook his head and went,”I know, I get it, I get it.’

Matt went to say that he did half-joking suggest to the film company promo guy that maybe he could try Lassen’s (the Mormon-owned health food store up the road that donated to support Prop 8–I won’t shop there, even though it’s the only health food store close by). The poster guy went away unhappily aware that the word was out on Ender’s Game–that the man behind the story, Orson Scott Card is a bigot.

Geek’s OUT has been the instrumental primogenitor in raising awareness about Orson Scott Card’s nastiness, his homophobia, his anti-equality activism through their Skip Ender’s Game campaign. In the Advocate, Patrick Yacco, a Geeks OUT board member writes brilliantly and passionately about why he is skipping Ender’s Game, and explains more eloquently than I what his group of sci-fi-loving queers has done and why. Their activism has shown what motivation and determination can accomplish. Geek OUT are true superheroes.

Since Geeks OUT launched this campaign earlier this year, we’ve faced a slew of criticism, ranging from “you need to separate the art from the artist” to “this isn’t big enough to make a difference.” To the first argument, I have to draw on my experience of being a queer geek and knowing that Orson Scott Card doesn’t respect who I am as a fan of science fiction. We’re not talking about someone who at one time or another made some stupid comments and is now apologizing for them, like James Gunn, director of the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy. Card actively works to target and undermine the LGBT community’s progress, and he’s quietly begun attacking people of color as well. To me, consuming any of his products is extremely problematic, and I’m addressing that in the fashion I see fit.

On the other hand, to say that the Skip Ender’s Game campaign won’t have an impact is completely moot at this point. Geeks OUT has pushed Card’s atrocious attacks on the LGBT community to the forefront of mainstream media, with nearly every outlet that reports on Ender’s Game commenting on his radical activism. Even if people weren’t aware of his views, they’re learning about them now. Regardless of Ender’s Game’s box office tally, Geeks OUT has helped raise awareness of Orson Scott Card’s fear-mongering, and no amount of ticket sales can change that.

Matt Kennedy isn’t the only straight sci-fi fan who’s skipping Ender’s Game. On Facebook and in real life, straight sci-fans have told me they are not going to see Ender’s Game, period, not even by paying for a ticket at the megaplex and sneaking in. That’s huge.  Geeks OUT are true superheroes. Their activism has shown what motivation and determination can accomplish.

Skip Ender’s Game!

Need something? La Luz de Jesus probably has it.

Left to right, Matt Kennedy, artist Christopher Ulrich, Paul Koudounaris PhD.

Koudounaris and two of his Heavenly Bodies.

5 Responses to "Skip “Ender’s Game”: Geeks OUT Making an Impact"
Teddy Partridge | Saturday November 2, 2013 12:36 am 1

One thing I’d like to add is that it isn’t necessarily Orson Scott Card’s views that are the issue. More important are his writings and his actions: he was a Board Member of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and has written comparing Obama to Hitler. Additionally, he tithes to the Mormon Church which, despite protestations to the contrary, is fighting marriage equality in Hawaii as I type this.

So when people say, “But we can separate the artist from his views!” the response must be, “Sure, but not from his actions.”

rabidbadger | Saturday November 2, 2013 12:51 am 2

I’m surprised more hasn’t been made of his recent “alternative-history fantasy story” about President Obama “talk(ing) like a white man” and raising a citizen army of “young out-of-work urban men” (and we all know what URBAN means) to keep him in perpetual power.

People need to know that he’s not just a homophobe, he’s a racist cracker who dwells at the very extreme fringe of the Mormon faith and seems to hold opinions that conflict with the church’s decision/revelation to fully integrate in 1977.

Lisa Derrick | Saturday November 2, 2013 02:27 pm 3
In response to rabidbadger @ 2

Orson Scott card’s racist views have been mentioned here on La Figa, and definitely in other media, and are referenced in Yacco’s editorial above. notes that Ender’s Game has made only $9.9 million dollars of Friday playing in over a whopping 3400+ theaters according to

Expect a small to no percentage increase on Saturday with EG’s box office coming in at about 8 – 11 millions dollars and a 40% percent drop on that Sunday which will put the weekends final total somewhere between 22 to 24 million dollars….

Ender’s Game which has been plagued by years stuck of being stuck in development and the recent boycott against it because of its notoriously homophobic and racist author Orson Scott Card cost 110 million dollars to make.
While its hard to determine if the Skip Ender’s Game Boycott by the LGBT community and its straight allies are responsible for the movies low opening numbers is hard to tell. But it certainly did help..

JohnJ | Saturday November 2, 2013 08:24 pm 4

I’ll wait for the pirated video to come out;-)

Sharkbabe | Sunday November 3, 2013 05:31 am 5

Since the popularity of the Ender’s Game book happened before Card put his sociopolitical odiousness on full display, I expect enough fans will still see the movie that it won’t be the financial disaster we’d like to see.

That said, I hope he enjoys whatever money EG makes, because his bankability is GONE.

Saw something the other day where he’s whining afresh about being persecuted – just for HIS VIEWS!! -by those intolerant nazi homo-lovers. It’ll be nice to see him reduced to a footnote in the history of grandstanding religious assholes who killed their own careers.

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