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The Blue & Gray Press | June 25, 2017

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Author’s opinion should be separate from film’s merit

By CLAIRE THOMPSON

Political controversy surrounds the Nov. 1 release of the film adaptation of the novel “Ender’s Game.” Ben Child brought to light the debate on the film in his article for The Guardian “Activists call for Ender’s Game Boycott over author’s anti-gay views.”

According to Child, the activist group Geeks Out called for a boycott of the film because of anti-gay views held by Orson Scott Card, who wrote the original novel in 1984. The group went as far as constructing a website called “Skip Ender’s Game,” instructing people to “not buy a ticket at the theatre, do not purchase the DVD…However much you may have admired his books, keep your money out of Orson Scott Card’s pockets.”endersgameyes

While I do not support Card’s anti-gay opinions, I completely disagree with those who call for a boycott of the movie. I personally believe it is possible to buy a ticket for the film, as its plot has nothing to do with gay rights, without subscribing to the political views of the novel’s author.

“Ender’s Game” is an amazing book, and should be viewed as a separate entity from Card’s political beliefs. I believe he is entitled to his own opinion, and his literary art should not be discriminated against because of it.

In response to the Geeks Out boycott of the film Card made a statement, insinuating that his views on gay rights have nothing to do Ender’s Game, both film and novel.

“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,” wrote Card. He went even further by stating, “It will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them.”

Card makes a valid point. The issue here is not really about gay rights; it is about each and every person having the right to their own opinion. By boycotting Ender’s Game and making Card seem like a villain, these activists are violating Card’s essential right to disagree.

I personally believe that activists boycotting Ender’s Game are taking a wrong and hypocritical approach. Card himself recognized gay marriage as “victorious,” clearly acknowledging defeat. If supporters of gay marriage want their beliefs to be respected, they should learn to respect the opinions of those who disagree with them. In order to do this, they need to learn there is a key difference between respecting someone else’s opinion and supporting it.

Regardless of Orson Scott Card’s past anti-gay statements, I think people should ignore those who wish to boycott Ender’s Game. There is a time and place for political debate, and the movie theater is definitely not it.

 

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