NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A New York group has launched a boycott of the upcoming science fiction move “Ender’s Game,” over the author who wrote the novel on which it is based and his opposition to gay rights.
Geeks OUT, a group that seeks to maintain an LGBT presence at comic conventions and other “geek events,” has launched a campaign called “Skip Ender’s Game.”
Its author, Orson Scott Card, is a board member of the National Organization for Marriage – a political organization that works against the legalization of same-sex marriage. Card has been quoted making statements against gay rights, including support of maintaining “laws against homosexual behavior,” the group said.
“Even as the film’s marketing campaign scrambles to distance the film from the author’s controversial reputation, Summit is angling Ender’s Game to be the next big sci-fi blockbuster, potentially making an all-new fortune for NOM-board member Card,” the group said.
Geeks OUT has asked people not to see the movie at a theater when it comes out on Nov. 1, not to purchase the DVD, not to watch the movie on demand, and not to buy any merchandise related to the movie.
The group is also planning “Skip Ender’s Game” events for Nov. 1. Events are planned in New York, as well as Chicago, Dallas, Orlando, Seattle and Toronto, the group said.
“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 group said. “The queer geek community will not subsidize his fear-mongering and religious bullying. We will not pay him to demean, insult, and oppress us.”
The group highlighted a 1990 quote from Card in Sunstone Magazine, which read, “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.”
The quote predated the Lawrence v. Texas U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down anti-sodomy laws by 13 years.
Card has responded to the Geeks OUT and its boycott in a statement, saying “Ender’s Game” has nothing to do with marriage or gay rights.
Published in Entertainment Weekly this week, the statement said the science fiction book and movie are “set more than a century in the future and (have) nothing to do with political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984.”
He also called the issue of same-sex marriage “moot” with the U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned the Defense of Marriage Act last month.
“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,” he wrote.
The 1985 “Ender’s Game” novel is set in the distant future after a horrific war between mankind and an insectoid alien species called “Buggers.” The novel presents the story of a gifted child named Ender Wiggin as he prepares for another invasion at a military school in space.
The screen adaptation written by Gavin Hood will star Asa Butterfield as Wiggin, as well as a roster of legends, including Abigail Breslin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Kingsley.
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