He has already upset many with his views on homosexuality. Now Orson Scott Card, author of the iconic source novel which forms the basis of upcoming sci-fi blockbuster Ender’s Game, has repeated the trick, and imagined a post-democratic USA in which the current president rules as an autocrat forever.
- Ender’s Game
- Production year: 2013
- Country: USA
- Directors: Gavin Hood
- Cast: Abigail Breslin, Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford
- More on this film
In the essay, which was published on Card’s Civilisation Watch blog and titled “Unlikely Events”, the novelist posits a future where Obama rules as a “Hitler- or Stalin-style dictator” complete with his own “national police force” of “young out-of-work urban men”. He also suggests that Obama and his wife, Michelle, might amend the US constitution to allow presidents to remain in power forever before the next presidential election and would then “win by 98 percent every time”. Adds the author: “That’s how it works in Nigeria and Zimbabwe; that’s how it worked in Hitler’s Germany.”
Card labels the post “an experiment in fictional thinking,” adding: “Will these things happen? Of course not.” However, his work is unlikely to please executives at studio Lionsgate, already on the back foot over Ender’s Game after many – including gay group Geeks Out – highlighted Card’s opposition to same-sex marriage in the US and suggested film-goers might consider boycotting the upcoming movie based on his 1984 novel.
Card, a practising member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and key figure in the anti-gay National Organisation for Marriage, has been highly vocal on the issue for a number of years. His views, and the Geeks Out boycott, have seen him encouraged to stay away from promotional appearances to promote the Ender’s Game movie such as last month’s Comic-Con in San Diego. Lionsgate, meanwhile, has been at pains to flag up its equal rights credentials, issuing a statement describing the studio 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 recognised same-sex unions and domestic partnerships within its employee benefits policies for many years”. The studio added last month: “We obviously do not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card and those of the National Organisation for Marriage.”
Ender’s Game, which stars Asa Butterfield, Abigail Breslin, Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley and Harrison Ford, centres on a gifted child who is sent to a military school in space to prepare for an alien invasion. It is released in UK cinemas on 25 October, Australian cinemas on 31 October and US cinemas a day later.