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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Boycotting “Ender’s Game”

ender  November 1, the movie Ender’s Game opened in theaters across the nation. Fans of the book of the same name by author Orson Scott Card and have been eagerly awaiting it, although many are calling to boycott the film.

  So, what’s all the controversy about?

  Orson Scott Card has loudly opposed gay marriage.  In an essay published in 2008, Card declared that any government that would even attempt to recognize same-sex marriage would be a “mortal enemy” that he would want to destroy. He has since called homosexuality  counter-evolutionary and asserted that homosexuals must have been abused or sexually assaulted in their youth, and that their  homosexuality is a response to that abuse.

  Card’s political  and racist views are also the subject of this boycott. In another, more recent essay, he depicted President Barack Obama as a Hitler- or Stalin-style dictator. Not only does Card write that, but he claims that the Boston bombing of last April was orchestrated by President Obama. Card shows racist views towards President Obama by stating that the President would employ “young out-of-work urban men” and that Obama will practically be a gang leader: “these young thugs will do beatings and murders of people ‘trying to escape’ — people who all seem to be leaders and members of groups that oppose Obama”.

  Numerous lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans+ (LGBT+) organizations, such as Geeks OUT!, are asking people to boycott Ender’s Game, with some organizations even holding parties in place of the movie. By boycotting the film, less money would go to Orson Scott Card. There would be less money for him to spend on anti-LGBT+ organizations, such as the National Organization of Marriage, of which he was a board member until the middle of this year.

  However, many people don’t believe that this boycott is worthwhile. They don’t believe much money would go to Card anyway, and fans of the book have been dying to see Ender’s Game on the big screen. Lionsgate Entertainment, for instance, is very pro-LGBT+, and has asked viewers to disassociate the entertainment group from Card’s personal views. The Atlantic Wire and other sources have reported that Card’s deal for the movie does not include any payments based on box-office receipts. 

  Although Card’s views are controversial, does that mean people shouldn’t continue to read the books or watch the movie? Well, yes and no. The author’s politics and homophobia are clearly present in the novel, as characters are forced to hide their religious beliefs and young boys make insulting homophobic remarks. However, the views are woven into the story in a way that is not nearly as offensive or obnoxious as Card’s recent non-fiction rantings. And as for the film, it seems the filmmakers have purposely left out a lot of Card’s more problematic views in order to both simplify and shorten the movie–as a bonus, they can now claim that the movie has nothing to do with Card’s politics.

At this point, it seems that a boycott of Ender’s Game is purely symbolic. You won’t be putting any cash in Orson Scott Card’s pocket directly if you buy a ticket. If you wish to make a statement against Card, then by all means refuse to see the film. But you’re likely to miss a pretty good movie.[polldaddy poll=7534162]

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About the Contributor
Mackenzie Farkus
Mackenzie Farkus, Editor in Chief
Hi, I’m Mackenzie Farkus,  Editor-in-Chief 2014-2016. I’m a lifelong bookworm, I love to travel, and I collect vinyl and comics. I’ve lived in Seattle, WA, Atlanta, GA, and a very tiny town in NC. After Westwood, I’ll attend Simmons College in Boston, MA, where I am majoring in Communications.

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    Mrs. DayNov 5, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Very interesting and well written article; I’m sure it will spark a conversation. I do wish that Card was not so extreme in his views, but they are his, and he has a right to them. While I do not agree with Card, he did write an incredible story, and I imagine that we will still probably see the movie at some point.