Lindsay Deutsch, USA TODAY5:09 p.m. EDT July 12, 2013
Studio does not support author Orson Scott Card’s anti-gay stance but says it has nothing to do with the film.
Lionsgate is responding to what could be a potentially potent publicity problem for its upcoming fall sci-fi blockbuster, Ender’s Game.
Calls to boycott the film have popped up online because Orson Scott Card, the author of the 1985 book series Ender’s Game on which the movie is based, is publicly anti-gay and anti-same-sex marriage. The movie, starring Harrison Ford, is due out on Nov. 1.
“As proud longtime supporters of the LGBT community, champions of films ranging from Gods and Monsters to The Perks of Being a Wallflowerand 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,” Lionsgate wrote in a statement. The studio pledged to host a benefit premiere for Ender’s Gamesupporting LGBT causes.
Recently, a group called Geeks OUT released its plans to boycott Ender’s Game, distributing a quote Card wrote in 1990 advocating “laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books,” and exposing his role as a board member of the anti-same-sex marriage organization National Organization for Marriage.
On Monday, Card released a statement to Entertainment Weekly, saying, “With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot… Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute.”
Statements from both Lionsgate and Card reiterate that the stance has nothing to do with Ender’s Game, which is about child soldiers in space.
“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 wrote in the statement.
It’s not the first time that Card has come under fire for his anti-gay beliefs. In March,DC Comics caused fan furor for choosing Card to contribute to its Adventures of Superman anthology. A petition garnered more than 18,000 signatures, and the illustrator of the series, Chris Sprouse, left the project because of the controversy.