American film studio Lionsgate Entertainment has disavowed the anti-gay views of science fiction author Orson Scott Card in the lead-up to the premiere of their film adaptation of Card’s iconic novel, Ender’s Game. Reiterating their support for marriage equality, the studio announced the premiere will also serve as a charity benefit for LGBTI causes.
In a statement Lionsgate promoted their progressive company policies around recognising same-sex relationships and encouraged cinema-goers to see the film despite Card’s views.
“As proud longtime supporters of the LGBT community…and a company that is proud to have recognised 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 Organisation for Marriage,” the statement read, referring to the anti-gay organisation of which Card is a board member.
“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.”
The announcement comes in response to escalating media attention over a planned boycott of the Ender’s Game film organised by queer group Geeks OUT. The group cites Card’s board membership of National Organisation for Marriage as a reason for the boycott, and earlier this month launched the website “Skip Ender’s Game”.
Geeks OUT’s protest prompted a statement by Card, calling for “tolerance” of anti-marriage equality intolerance in the wake of the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) earlier this month. Card said the decision made the whole issue “moot”.
Geeks OUT issued a response criticising Card’s statement: “There’s nothing more democratic and tolerant than a consumer boycott, rooted in the ideas of free market accountability. ‘Skip Ender’s Game’ is about doing what all of us do every day — use facts to determine who and what to support with our money.
“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.”
This is not the first time in recent months Card’s work has faced boycott — in February some retailers refused to stock a Superman comic book featuring a story by the author, with the story eventually being put on hold indefinitely by publisher DC Comics.