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07/18/2013

I don't 'blame' Orson Scott Card—I just make the consumer choice to avoid his work

by Jeremy Hooper

I'm thrilled that the director and young stars of Enders Game are speaking out against Orson Scott Card's shocking ant-gay rhetoric….

'Ender's Game' stars answer gay rights questions [AP via Yahoo! News]

….but I do have to pushback against a new meme that is popping up around the film. Namely, the idea that "you can't blame a work for its author," a claim that young star Asa Butterfield makes in the above-linked AP story but that is the general tone that all of the film's defenders are using to support the work.

The fact of the matter is that every frame of that film springs, ultimately, from this same mind that said all of these truly crazy things about people like me and families like mine. That will always be so. Yes, this is a cinematic interpretation of the work, but the story and the characters and the plot all came from Mr. Card's mind. And let's not forget that he, a producer on this film, stands to greatly benefit if these films become the hit, Harry Potter–like franchise that Lionsgate certainly hopes they become.

So for me, it's not really about "blame." For me it's about the fact that I cannot, in good conscience, pay money for a cinematic vision that springs from the very same mind that calls my sexual orientation a "dysfunction" for which I must "repent." When a writer goes public, he begins a sort of trust exchange between himself and his readers. Orson Scott Card has forever blown any amount of trust we might have ever shared, and he has destroyed any bit of good will that I might have held toward his ideas. He, by his own volition, chose to put out public commentary that slurs my life, family, and very existence in ways that the unacquainted would find unimaginable (in fact I'm still not convinced the film's defenders have seen how far he has gone), so I, working from my own volitional place, will not support any more of Orson Scott Card's public enterprises. I just can't. Other people might be able to do so—I cannot.

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