When “Ender’s Game” premiered in Los Angeles on the night of October 28, the author of the original book, Orson Scott Card, who is becoming better known for his anti-equality activism than for his novels, was nowhere to be seen. However, the director of the film, Gavin Hood, took time to say, “The book is a fantastic book full of wonderful themes like compassion and tolerance and I am distressed by Orson’s position on gay marriage.”
Hood’s position is no surprise; in July, he sat down with the Advocate to talk about the “queer irony” he saw in “Ender’s Game.” At the movie’s premiere, he told the press in attendance, “Would I prefer to be doing a movie without controversy? Yes, but I’m not in the least distressed that we are having this conversation. It is a very important conversation. It’s just odd that our film, which is all about tolerance, has to be used to counter the author.”
Hood is also far from the first to testify that while Card’s personal views are anti-gay, those who worked on the movie adaptation don’t tend to agree with him. In the Advocate interview, actor Harrison Ford, who plays the part of Colonel Graff, is quoted as saying, “The question of gay marriage is a battle that [Card] lost. I think we all know that we’ve all won. That humanity has won.”
The studio behind the film, Lionsgate Entertainment, actually put out a press release announcing it does “not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card.” Though the studio said that the equality issue is “completely irrelevant to a discussion of ENDER’S GAME […] 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.”
Regardless, not everyone is willing to look past the name on the book that the movie is based on. The founder of GaymerConnect, Matt, uploaded a video, titled #SkipEndersGame. He points out, “[Card] has put a lot of money into a lot of very anti-LGBT, very—I hesitate to use the word hate groups, but groups that hate LGBT people. And if you support this movie, you are putting money into a bigot’s hands, who will use that money to fight against our rights.”
As of this writing, “Ender’s Game” currently has a “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with 69% positive reviews. It opens across the US on November 1.