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Lionsgate/Summit Deems Orson Scott Card's Anti-Gay Views "Irrelevant" to 'Ender's Game'

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! July 12, 2013 at 4:25PM

Lionsgate responds to a recently proposed boycott of the film "Ender's Game" in the wake of Orson Scott Card's anti-gay views, deeming them "completely irrelevant" to the film.
Orson Scott Card
Orson Scott Card

Lionsgate/Summit has a problem. They have a movie to release, "Ender's Game," which is caught in the middle of a firestorm over the political views of the author of the original 1985 prize-winning sci-fi novel, Orson Scott Card. The question is whether the movie should bear the brunt of the author's virulent anti-gay views.

In mere days, the studio will take "Ender's Game" to Comic-Con, where Scott Card will not be in attendance. But the studio wants to make it clear that the author's anti-gay stance -- he is a board member of the National Organization for Marriage -- should not be conflated with the film adaptation.

A recently proposed boycott by the LGBT community of "Ender's Game" is based on their objection to the author's virulent anti-gay views. Geeks OUT, which drafted the boycott, exhorts moviegoers to "keep your money away from Orson Scott Card and anti-gay activists" by skipping this movie.

Scott Card made a statement earlier this week at Entertainment Weekly, calling the same-sex union issue "moot" due to recent Supreme Court rulings, and asked proponents of gay marriage to "show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute." 

Thus Lionsgate/Summit is attempting to quell the flames via a statement designed to distance the movie from the LBGT-called boycott of the movie. Here's their statement regarding the controversy, and the studio's warm endorsement of same-sex unions:

As proud longtime supporters of the LGBT community, champions of films ranging from GODS AND MONSTERS to THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER and a Company that is proud to have recognized same-sex unions and domestic partnerships within its employee benefits policies for many years, we obviously do not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card and those of the National Organization for Marriage.  However, they are completely irrelevant to a discussion of ENDER’S GAME.  The simple fact is that neither the underlying book nor the film itself reflect these views in any way, shape or form.  On the contrary, the film not only transports viewers to an entertaining and action-filled world, but it does so with positive and inspiring characters who ultimately deliver an ennobling and life-affirming message. Lionsgate will continue its longstanding commitment to the LGBT community by exploring new ways we can support LGBT causes and, as part of this ongoing process, will host a benefit premiere for ENDER’S GAME.

As protest continues to simmer, will this statement change the minds of LGBT community members who have already rallied against the film?  We'll know when the film hits theaters November 1.

This article is related to: Ender's Game, Lionsgate, Orson Scott Card, Comic-Con

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.