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David Gerrold Offers Thoughtful Response To Boycott of O.S. Card Movie

Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. It’s a movie about a special pilot who is being trained alongside a crack team of people to go out there and defeat an alien invasion of Earth. Oh, did we mention that they’re all children while they’re being trained. That appears to be the central selling point of Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game.”

Oh, did we mention the fact that the aliens in “Ender’s Game” are called Buggers…err…maybe not the best time to note the connotation there.

The original story came out in 1977, but was rewritten and turned into a novel in 1985, and yes, it sounds like a Star Wars rip-off. In fact, for that matter, it sounds like a rip-off of Star Wars and Starship Troopers (the novel of which came out in 1959 and the aliens were a bunch of bugs).

Orson Scott Card is a devout Mormon, a member of the board of the National Organization for Marriage, and someone who has called homosexuality a “deviant behavior” and said that “gay rights is a collective delusion” in the past. He has also attacked homosexuality using less kind terminology.

Card is now trying to do some damage control. He recently stated that “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.”

As always with those who oppose same-sex marriage or LGBT equality, they cannot see that the big problem is with their comments and their hatreds. They often refuse to see what they are saying as wrong even though what they are saying is often vile and horrific.

The guys behind the movie are busy trying to distance themselves from Card saying “Orson’s politics are not reflective of the moviemakers. We’re adapting a work, not a person. The work will stand on its own.”

However, it was David Gerrold who may have the best answer to Card’s comments. Gerrold is an openly gay sci-fi writer best known for the Star Trek episode “The Trouble with Tribbles.” Gerrold noted that “My guess is that Orson Scott Card was paid a hefty sum for the film rights and probably has some points on the back end. Knowing how Hollywood accounting works, he is unlikely to see much on the back end. Not unless he has points on the gross.”

On his Facebook Page, Gerrold went on to say “But here’s the thing. Boycotting the film would hurt all the other good people who were part of its production, people who deserve to see their hard work acknowledged and appreciated. . .So … my feeling is that every individual needs to examine his/her own conscience and make up his/her own mind how to balance dislike of Card’s politics against what might be an extraordinary film.”

He went on to say that “My feeling … if you do go see the film, whether first run or later on, why not make an extra effort to donate some money to an LGBT-friendly cause you do believe in. Myself, I think donating to the ACLU’s continuing challenge of marriage bans might be the best way to go.”

And he finally said that “The point that is worth making here is that Card’s opposition to LGBT issues is ultimately a good thing — because it puts the discussion on the table. The real victory in the LGBT movement is that every time an anti-gay speaker raises the issue, it’s an invitation for others to respond. It makes it safe for everyone to contribute — and the result is that LGBT issues are now part of the national conversation. . .Card’s own statements have contributed to that discussion. So as much as he has resisted marriage-equality, he’s part of the reason that it’s inevitable.”

A reasoned and well thought out response. Gerrold has had a rather steady career in sci-fi, and contributed the story for another Star Trek episode- “The Cloud Minders” and appeared as an extra in Star Trek: The Motion Picture and the Deep Space 9 Episode “Trials and Tribbleations”.

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3 Responses to David Gerrold Offers Thoughtful Response To Boycott of O.S. Card Movie

  1. Robert Mitchell

    July 23, 2013 at 1:30 am

    Liberals howled back in the 1950s when screenwriter/novelist Dalton Trumbo, an avowed communist was blacklisted, and he had far more scripts to his credit than Orson Card. I personally loathe communism and any related form of collectivist/communalist philosophy, but I have watched several films where Dalton did the screenplay and have reluctantly given the devil his due. The sad thing, was that Trumbo was a hypocrite of the worst order. He cried and moaned about being deprived of his livelihood by the court of public opinion, yet he openly boasted that he and other communist/leftist writers had used their money and influence to keep the anti-communist novel “Darkness at Noon” from being made into a film. Looks like some folks don’t like it when the shoe is on the other foot, as the saying goes.

  2. Buddy Cole

    July 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I have the greatest respect for Mr. Gerrold, but it seems to me as though he’s asking conscientious movie-goers to pay double, to foot the bill for the consequences of Card’s decades of hateful slander.

    A much more rational solution would be to lobby Summit to pledge a percentage (of the gross!) to said LGBT causes, guaranteed to be no less than Card’s takeaway for the film (before taxes).

    I actually prefer Freedom to Work, myself, because as Card admits, even a majority of the opponents grant that victory for same-sex marriage is inevitable. At this point, the good guys’ money is better spent on ENDA.

  3. Lez Get Real

    July 10, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Pat Carbonell from Ohio: Having read Ender’s Game and it’s sequel way back when, I can honestly say that there was no indication in the books of the author’s religion or beliefs. It is an intense examination of the warping of a young man through the training and then the war. I remember it as being a bit gut-wrenching, and not light entertainment.

    I agree with Gerrold: see the movie or not, on its own merits. This is, by far, not the first movie based on a book written by a bigot.