Harrison Ford in Ender’s Game
Gay sci-fi fans are calling for a boycott of a film, directed by South African Gavin Hood, based on a book by anti-gay author Orson Scott Card.
Launched by the group Geeks OUT, the Skip Ender’s Game campaign urges the LGBT community and its friends to not support the movie Ender’s Game, starring Harrison Ford, which will be released in November.
Card, who has said that he supports the criminalisation of homosexuality and opposes same-sex marriage, wrote the bestselling book on which the film is based in 1984.
A practicing Mormon, he sits on the board of the National Organization for Marriage, which was created to lobby against gay marriage in the US.
In 1990, Card wrote: “Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.”
In 2009, he said that “Marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down.”
On their website, Geeks OUT stated: “By pledging to Skip Ender’s Game, we can send a clear and serious message to Card and those that do business with his brand of anti-gay activism – whatever he’s selling, we’re not buying.”
“The queer geek community will not subsidize his fear-mongering and religious bullying. We will not pay him to demean, insult, and oppress us.”
They group added: “Do not buy a ticket at the theatre, do not purchase the DVD, do not watch it on-demand. Ignore all merchandise and toys.”
Card responded to the boycott in a statement, saying that “Ender’s Game is set more than a century in the future and has nothing to do with political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984.”
He continued: “With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot… Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute.”
In March, an artist hired to illustrate a planned Superman comic left the project because it was written by Card.
Hood, the Johannesburg-born director, helmed the Oscar-winning Tsotsi as well as Hollywood’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He has not commented on the furore.
Ender’s Game is set to be released in South Africa on November 29.