“Ender’s Game” Controversy . . . really?
I listen to a number of podcasts relating to writing and entertainment, and I’ve been hearing comments, both from hosts and guests, saying they will not go see the “Ender’s Game” movie due out in December (see trailer at Apple). They are joined by the voices of many.
For them who are not familiar with the book, Ender’s Game, go read it.
Anyway, the reason people and groups give for their proposed boycott of the movie is . . . Orson Scott Card, the author of the book, is anti-gay. Gay advocacy groups defend their calls for a boycott with what are, to my mind, emotional but flawed arguments. (example)
Know I’m not defending Card’s views (he makes his own counter-arguments posted at Hatrack River), nor am I looking for a spirited argument from the LGBT community.
I do say the idea of a boycott is stupid. It’s stupid when the Religious Right calls for one because something promotes gay marriage, and it’s stupid when Geeks Out calls for one because of Card’s views, just as it was stupid when Fox News endorsed avoiding French products, and it was monumentally stupid and ignorant when Liberals called for a boycott of Apple products because of working conditions in China.
Did you get the gist of it? I think it’s stupid.
For one, it would hurt the studio who made the movie, and the broader film industry… isn’t the entertainment industry generally pro equal rights, gay marriage, and so on?
Card might have written the book, but the movie is the end result of the efforts of many, many people.
The loudest argument I hear is that going to see the movie funds the enemies of equal rights (Card). Well, it also funds literally thousands of people involved in the making of the movie, many of which support gay rights.
Consider the fact a large portion of the population is religious; using the argument that supporting the movie will help promote an anti-gay agenda may actually bring out a large number of people who might not have otherwise bothered with the movie.
Way to go, Geeks Out! What was your objective, again? (Side Note: when the Chick-Fil-a boycott was called, at many stores there were lines extending around the blocks; most people in those lines were conservatives supporting the company and founder, but many people were just curious about the company. While not generally true, sometimes there really is no such thing as bad publicity.)
The point is, the book is not anti-gay, or if it is, that message is lost to the millions who have read and enjoyed the book. That includes me. I read that book at least three times, and never did I get even a hint of anti-gay sentiment from it. If there is a hidden message in there, it did not work on me, as I am a firm supporter for equal rights for all.
But beyond that… if that is the litmus test, no one but thugs should ever watch professional sports, college sports, or even high school sports. In case people sleep through the news, watching most any sport supports a large number of thugs and wannabe thugs.
I’m pretty sure many actors are jerks and have the reasoning power of a gnat, and yet, we watch them on TV shows, watch their movies, follow their every move. That fuels their popularity, and turns them into terrible role models, and no one cares.
Politicians… don’t even get me started.
What about people from history? Thomas Jefferson… he owned slaves. Are we to discredit his works, reject his writings, and denounce his influence in the founding and shaping of the United States?
Da Vinci, Michelangelo… arguably producers of homoerotic art. Are groups of the Religious Right asking for a boycott of their work? They would be foolish to do so.
Often, the works of people transcend the people themselves. Ender’s Game is a great book, and there is no reason to believe the movie will suck (the only excuse not to go see it).
So, what message to take away from this? If you don’t have an interest in the movie, don’t go see it.
But if your excuse not to watch Ender’s Game is because you don’t like Card’s views, well then, you have an enormous task ahead of you.
So that you are not a self-centered hypocrite, you need to research every product you purchase, every service you use, and make sure you are not inadvertently funding someone whose personal views or actions hurt someone. Unless, you know, you don’t give a shit about that particular group because it’s not your group.
Good luck with that.
Meanwhile, here’s something I can get onboard with . . .