The biggest nemesis to a long-anticipated film adaptation of Orson Scott Card's legendary Ender's Game has been, for many, the author's almost equally legendary anti-gay activism. His outspoken stance against marriage equality has already prompted a call for a boycott of the film, and now the otherwise promotionally sidelined Orson Scott Card has released a statement addressing the controversy. Spoiler alert: he wants you to ignore his politics.
Here's the statement, released to Entertainment Weekly:
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.
With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot. The Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution will, sooner or later, give legal force in every state to any marriage contract recognized by any other state.
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.
Orson Scott Card
Of course, this isn't the only recent controversy where the author's work and his beliefs have crossed. Earlier this year, DC Comics tapped Card to write an Adventures of Superman comic. The outcry against his involvement was so strong that the artist assigned to draw the book quit. The project, written but not drawn, is now apparently shelved. Notably, Card probably won't be making an appearance at this year's Comic-Con, even though Summit is bringing the Ender's Game film to the convention in a big way.
While the statement is a clear attempt to distance the film from the beliefs of its creator, out of the mouth of the creator himself, it's not clear whether it will be enough. Even if you forgive the author for arguing that gay rights as an issue "did not exist" in 1984 (it did), and for giving a whistle to the notion that he and other anti-gay activists might be victimized by the Supreme Court's decision on DOMA, his history on the issue goes deeper. Orson Scott Card, after all, still wrote a version of Hamlet in which the eponymous character's father was a gay, as a way of explaining why he was a terrible king (Card also made Hamlet's father into a child molester). And he still sat on the board of the National Organization for Marriage.
On the other hand, Ender's Game is a well-known and beloved book, even by some who know from whence it came. We'll have to wait until November, the film's scheduled release, to find out.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.