Ender’s Gay?

Orson Scott Card would certainly hope not. Infamously – and rampantly – homophobic, the devout Mormon and science-fiction author is currently drawing on his past controversy as the big-budget adaptation of his greatest novel is starting to attract press.

His 1985 work Ender’s Game is receiving the Hollywood treatment, scheduled for November release; the novel having won both the Hugo and Nebula awards, making Scott Card the only author to win both of the US’s top science fiction prizes in consecutive years – far more successful than his 1990 essay, ‘The Hypocrites of Homosexuality‘.

Online protests, via Skip Ender’s Game, and media sources have called for a boycott of his film, whilst many bloggers have protested not only against the film but also against his books.

But should we, as readers, endorse the author through their books? Or should we be able to separate the artist and their art? T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound (basically Modernism and co.) were both famously anti-semitics and fascists, as was Pasternak and Dostoevsky. John Updike’s review of The Spell is wonderfully riddled with homophobia. And do not even get me started on the legion of misogynistic male writers (though thoughtcatalog does a great job regardless).

Where do you separate the moralist from the reader?

via The Huffington Post

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2 responses to “Ender’s Gay?

  1. I can understand the boycott but for me it is much more problematic that he was so recently given the cherished platform of writing a Superman comic. Mel Gibson still makes films despite having now offended pretty much every group of people there is – Hollywood apparently has no scruples about that. But given the significance of LGBT issues in comics, DC giving him their prized jewel during a key moment in the campaign for same-sex marriage – that is despicable. And the fact that they then seemingly tried to make up for it by having Batwoman – their most important gay character – propose to her girlfriend just undermines what should have been a historic decision.

    A few years ago Card wrote a new version of Hamlet because he felt the original wasn’t homophobic enough, but it’s not as if his version was then staged at the Globe. I’d say there’s an institutional responsibility on the part of a company like DC not to offer a platform to bigoted artists, but film studios often seem to escape this responsibility – perhaps because they are seen as faceless corporations rather than culture producers? The proposed boycott of his Superman comic didn’t convince DC to reverse their decision, and presumably the film will massively boost sales of Ender’s Game the novel. Ironic because he’s probably been worrying for decades that the year same-sex marriage was legalised would be a bad year for him..

  2. and more: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/aug/16/ender-s-game-orson-scott-card-essay-obama-hitler

    and as it was taken from a blog post he wrote months ago I’d be surprised if more stuff isn’t dug up between now and the film’s release, depends on what the journalists want to find and publicise. Weird symmetry between a homophobic writer calling Obama a Hitler in the making while a gay writer calls Putin a Hitler in the making for his homophobic policies. Add Isinbaeyva’s comments yesterday and there’s an interesting extension to your question of separating artist and art – what about athletes etc?

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