By Noelle Sophie Mendoza
Audiences appreciate masterpieces that have a spark of ingenuity, but what if the creator believes in flawed ideologies? Do those bad characteristics affect their work? Should we continue to give money to a franchise created by someone deemed hateful?
Questions like these bring up many conflicting opinions because they don’t have cut and dry answers.
But if so much scandal and confusion surrounds a piece, why are critics still raving over them? To put it simply, they’re amazing. We, as an audience, should not have to miss out on remarkable stories just because someone with twisted views tells them.
In addition to the buzz about the movie adaptation of Ender’s Game, author Orson Scott Card’s negative views on homosexuality also gained attention. According to CBC News, he stated “gay marriage marks the end of democracy”. As a result, it slandered the merit of his work, caused an uproar in the LGBT community and affected the success of the movie adaptation.
For the most part, people assumed the movie and the book would be a platform for anti-gay propaganda. But if someone watched or read Ender’s Game, they know it just depicts the life of a young man who overcomes a number of issues because he was born differently.
Knowing that, one can see how this story could empower and resonate with gay youth in religious households.
In addition, both versions of Ender’s Game have a multitude of authors. Producers, editors and directors all have a hand in deciding how to portray the story, not just Orson Scott Card. For instance, director Gavin Hood saw chances to relate with people in the book and made an effort to draw out those aspects in the movie. So, it’s a stretch to say that the book and the movie are only Orson’s work.
While supporting the franchise puts money into all the authors’ pockets, we would still be giving money to one author we know is hateful which is a little disconcerting. The newfound wealth or popularity of their works can help people like Orson get the platform they need to preach about their vices. However, we only need to fire them or revoke their rights to the profits to prevent that issue, as they did with Orson Scott Card.
There’s still a problem. What should we do with these remaining feelings of moral discomfort? We should accept them.
Appreciating the end product instead of focusing on the mess made during its production is important to keep in mind when approaching a subject this sensitive. Any work that can become more than just a way to vapidly pass your time should be enjoyed, no matter how awful the creator may be.
- Rakoff, Evan Smith. “Orson Scott Card’s Anti-Gay Views .” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 30 Oct. 2013, articles.latimes.com/2013/oct/30/entertainment/la-et-jc-orson-scott-card-antigay-views-haunt-enders-game-premiere-20131030.
- Pulver, Andrew. “Orson Scott Card ‘Won’t Profit’ from Ender’s Game Film.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 31 Oct. 2013, http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/oct/31/orson-scott-card-enders-game-profit-harrison-ford-anti-gay.
- Dunning, Jennifer. “Ender’s Game Boycotts Fueled by Author Orson Scott Card’s Anti-Gay Views.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 1 Nov. 2013, http://www.cbc.ca/newsblogs/yourcommunity/2013/11/enders-game-boycotts-fueled-by-author-orson-scott-cards-anti-gay-views.html.