The Ender’s Game movie releases to theaters in a few months and with it begins a new round of an old controversy. Those who play video games might remember when Shadow Complex was boycotted because Orson Scott Card, noted anti-homosexual, wrote the storyline for it. Less publicized was people boycotting the comic book tie in for Dragon Age, which was also written by Card. A surprising number of people on my Facebook friends list–who I would have thought were more knowledgeable about science fiction and media–are just now discovering that Orson Scott Card holds some unpopular political beliefs. Raging about this revelation, they jump on the boycott bandwagon (much as they did last year with Chick-Fil-A.)
The beauty of all this righteous indignation is the complete absence of self awareness. That’s one of the benefits of mob mentality, by giving away your individuality to be a fashionable member of the cause you needn’t worry about thinking about your actions. In this case, as they rally to quash all opposition before them (and sometimes succeed) none of them have to take the time to appreciate the cold, hard truth: that the bullied have successfully become the bullies.
I don’t mean literally; not everyone who supports gay rights has directly (or indirectly) suffered from homophobia. But as a group, and for what they represent, they were historically bullied. But now they find they have the societal upper hand and, so empowered, they will coerce everyone into agreeing with them. Because they feel that if you don’t agree with their cause then you don’t deserve to earn a living.
But the “you” part is where everything gets confused. There’s a lot of people involved in making a movie. Are all of them hateful homophobes who deserve to see their hard work crash and burn? That’s unlikely. As with last year’s Chick-Fil-A fiasco, the caring people don’t care about collateral damage when there’s a boogeyman bent on using all his money to spew nothing but hate speech. You know, like Ender’s Game is. Except it isn’t. Not at all. In fact, people generally find it … kind of gay.
Which brings this all back to an issue I’ve broached before: the (perceived) need to consume an artist’s personality in addition to their output. All of the “Orson Scott Card Hates Gays” stuff comes from essays, articles, forum exchanges, and things that are outside of his fictional work. In fact, my facebook friends being so shocked to learn that he hates gays shows how little his personal views cross over to his work. I wouldn’t be arguing with the boycott supporters if Ender’s Game was about an evil race of mincing extraterrestrials called the Homosexumonsters that sought to rape all of humanity to death. At that point, sure, it would be something with a clear message to fight against and nobody could question their motivation for doing so. As it is now, they just don’t like him for being him, and want to tear apart anything he touches because they can’t (or won’t) draw a line between an artist and his work.
So have at your boycott, you noble people who won’t tolerate intolerance. But be sure never to distinguish between a person’s work and unrelated aspects of their personality! Don’t swing your hips to a song by Chris Brown, buy a vehicle from Ford, or use a Capital One credit card. Also, go out of your way to snub the business efforts of any and all Mormons (the same religion as Card.) They’re probably donating money to the Mormon Church, which still considers homosexual behavior a sin (and supported Proposition 8.) Come on, now, do it for the cause! You may have been all-too-eager to be just as bad as your enemies, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have any integrity!