Actually, the title for this article is not exactly true. Lately, I’ve had a lot to do with Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game. Specifically, I’ve been asking my family, acquaintances and extended friends through social media not to spend any money on the franchise, especially the new film based on his science fiction novel which premiers today. Part of that was my request to the Pop Cults team to not do a review of the film. I’m pleased to say that the team was very respectful of my request and after a lively debate we decided to present both points of view. To do a fair review of the film which is undoubtedly a part of our popular culture but to also present the dissenting view of why I and so many others strongly feel that to support the author is morally wrong.
As I stated before, for me, the issue is money. Orson Scott Card is a successful and wealthy man who has profited from his body of work. Undoubtedly, he is the American dream come to life. In addition to providing his family with the means to support their lifestyle, Mr. Card also tithes a portion of his income to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which in turn gave $189,903.58 to Protectmarriage.com, the group which led the effort to get Prop 8 passed in California — a law rendered unconstitutional earlier this year when SCOTUS refused to overturn a lower court’s ruling. In the past, Mr. Card has used his profits to fund anti-gay and anti-marriage equality causes. Even though he claims that the issue of marriage equality is now moot due to the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act, it does not mean he will not continue to fund other groups in the future.
Despite the ending of DOMA and other discriminatory practices such as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the fight for equality for all is far from over. Anti-gay violence and activism is alive and well in the world today. There are still 37 states in the Union where marriage equality is illegal, and there are 29 states that do not offer protection for homosexuals when it comes to discrimination in the workplace or housing. Leading the effort to shove homosexuals back into the closet is the National Organization for Marriage, a group that is unceasing in its efforts to depict homosexuals as pedophiles and whose president may be facing sedition charges for lobbying against the interests of the U.S. government to the Russian parliament. Only days after Brian Brown’s speech, the Russian Duma passed laws against the adoption of Russian children by people in countries that allow marriage equality and is considering legislation to remove children from the homes of Russian LGBT parents. From 2009 until mid-2013, Orson Scott Card was a member of the board of directors of NOM, and I strongly suspect his resignation had a lot to do with the impending release of Ender’s Game.
The production company, as well as the actors involved in the film, claim that Card won’t profit from the film, nor did he have any creative input on the film even though he’s listed a producer in the credits. For me, simply having his name attached to the film means he’ll profit. What about a renewed sale of books? What about post-box office sales from DVDs and merchandising? Like Yogurt delightfully proclaimed, “Merchandising, merchandising, where the real money from the movie is made. Spaceballs-the T-shirt, Spaceballs-the Coloring Book, Spaceballs-the Lunch box, Spaceballs-the Breakfast Cereal, Spaceballs-the Flame Thrower.” There is no way Mr. Card will not profit from the release of this film. And that’s enough for me to keep my money in my wallet. I hope a lot of other people will too.