Just came back from getting my phone replaced to see the word going around the Net that Orson Scott Card has apparently decided to call the question of gay marriage “moot” and has asked for “tolerance from the victorious”. And for added WTFery, is calling on people to not boycott his movie.
It’s one thing to say that “I am against gay marriage on religious grounds” and to therefore apply that to your own life. I don’t like that, but it’s appropriate to accept that others who don’t agree with me are free to live their own lives as they wish. It’s quite another thing entirely to say that “because my religious views are against gay marriage, nobody should ever have gay marriage EVER”–to actively throw your own reputation, money, and life effort into not only trying to pass laws to enforce your views, but to promote the outright dehumanization of LGBT folk.
And now he has the nerve to ask people to not boycott his movie? I have two words for you, Mr. Card: fuck you.
Because no. I’m not tolerant of his toxic brand of bigotry. He has the freedom to believe what he likes, but when he starts trying to force his views down other people’s throats, no, I’m not going to put up with that. As the old saying goes, your right to swing your fist ends at my nose.
I never read Ender’s Game, so I have no particular sentimental attachment to that book. In fact, I’d only ever read one book of Card’s before I found out what a homophobic asshat he is. But I know a lot of SF/F fans who did love the book, and so I’m sad for them–because they’re unhappy that a beloved book turns out to have been created by a vile weasel of a person.
Me, I’m a little sad just because Harrison Ford is in this movie, and as you all know, I’ve been a longstanding fan of Mr. Ford. But not even his presence in the film could make me give any money to anything with Orson Scott Card’s name attached.
Dara has pretty much echoed my thoughts here, and James Nicoll has commentary here.
ETA: Commentary at The Mary Sue over here.
ETA #2: For a counterpoint view Cory Doctorow chimed in on BoingBoing. I’m linking to him because even though I don’t agree with his stance, it’s worth noting as an opinion I’ve seen out there a lot every time something of this nature comes up: i.e., how much leeway can you give between the creator of a piece of art, and the art itself?
I’ve seen a lot of people advocate separating them and I can buy that up to a point. In Card’s case, he crosses the line for me specifically because he is an activist. I.e., he’s a member of an organization dedicated to the dehumanization of LGBT-folk; it’s not enough for him to just have these beliefs. And you know what? Fuck that. I don’t care how good a writer he is. I have no qualms whatsoever about potentially missing out on good stories despite my lifelong goal of Wanting to Read All the Books. My life is too short, and there are too many other great authors out there who aren’t trying to pass laws to make my wife and second-class citizens, to give dime one to him.
ETA #3: James has another post up linking off to a stunning comment from another author pretty much equating “refusing to buy an author’s work and therefore causing him economic harm” to “causing actual physical harm”, and asserting that these differ only by degree.
And I repeat: I don’t give a rat’s ass how good a writer Card may or may not be. Ability to string sentences together into a coherent SF/F novel does not excuse you for being a rampant, bigoted, hate-filled asshole. And it sure as hell does not mean I have to subject myself to your work. There are too many good people in the world who are far more deserving of my money.
Card’s already brought a gun to something that wasn’t even a knife fight, so y’know what? No, I do not give a fat flying fuck about whether I’m causing him any economic harm by refusing to support him or his work.
(The comment in question appears in this thread on thinkprogress.org, which actually raises good thoughts about what to do as an ethical consumer of art, in situations like this–where significant art has been created by terrible people. The post itself is worth reading, but as with many places on the Internet, for gods’ sake STAY OUT OF THE COMMENTS unless you’re feeling feisty.)
ETA #4: Chuck Wendig speaks eloquently on the matter right over here. Money quote:
That’s him doubling down and saying, “You need to tolerate my intolerance.” Which is a classic derailing tactic that smells so strongly of horseshit that when he says it I wonder if I’m actually living inside a horse’s ass.