Discussion: Ender’s Game and the Film Boycott


If you haven’t heard by now, people are planning to boycott the film version of Orson Scott Card’s novel, Ender’s Game. The movie comes out in November, and I’m not going to lie – I’ve been excited for this film since I first read the book some 15+ years ago. That being said, I deplore Card’s politics and how he spends his money. The interwebs are currently filled with passionate pleas and some downright virulent opinions about those who pay to watch Ender’s Game. I would hate to fund Card’s beliefs, but I’d also hate not seeing the film version of my favorite novel of ALL TIME. Plus, it would suck for the child actors in this film to be affected by a low grossing box office. My feelings are complicated. In real life, my friends all tell me to stop reading the internet and go see the movie (including all of my gay friends).

So my question this lovely Friday, what are your feelings about the controversy? Are you planning on seeing the movie? If you see the film, are you thinking about making a donation to a particular group or charity that fights against such crazies as OSC? Or perhaps you might even side with OSC and his beliefs? No matter – just let me know in the comments!


23 thoughts on “Discussion: Ender’s Game and the Film Boycott

  1. I feel as you do about both the book and the views of the author. But I will definitely see the film. If we paid attention to the political views of artists and musicians and authors, we would be without so many: T.S. Eliot and Richard Wagner and Mel Gibson (HA HA) etc etc. Oh, forgot Paula Deen (HA HA). Yes, I don’t like giving those people my money, but I agree with the theory that one should endeavor to compensate for it by making sure everyone knows how you feel, and by supporting movements to change those feelings.

  2. I’m sure I won’t be adding any dollars to OSC’s wallet. I probably wouldn’t care if he just believed these things but he donates masses of money to conservative groups who believe what he believes and the only way to fight that is to not buy his books or watch his movie. That’s logical. I know there are other great writers and artists who have unscrupulous beliefs but as long as I don’t fund their ideology I don’t have a problem with reading or admiring their work.

    • You’re definitely not alone in your feelings. It’s one of the reasons I chose Ender’s Game as my World Book Night book a couple of years ago so that I could put it into readers’ hands for free.

      • I know this seems to be a bit of a controversial topic on Book Tube at the moment. Although I don’t think it’s gone full circle yet. Another controversial topic is Cassandra Clare and her alleged plagiarism. I had no idea about that. I just heard about it the other day on one of the booktube videos.

  3. I’m torn as well. I loved the book. I want to see the film. I don’t agree with Card. But, at the end of the day, this nation was founded on the belief that everyone has a right to their opinion and I figure OSC is just as entitled to his beliefs as I am. Like rhapsody said, if we avoided every Tom, Dick, and Harry because we didn’t agree with something they believed it, well, we’d never do anything, would we? We would never elect anyone, read a book, see a movie, shop anywhere, eat anywhere. I don’t agree with murder, but I’ve read books about it. I don’t like stealing, but I’ve read books about that too. The main thing we can hope for is to learn from those negative experiences and hope that others do to. And yes, fund the ideologies that seek to educate.

    • I’m of your same mind but it seems so many people are just super passionate about this particular issue that I’m feeling all guilty. To be honest, I’m more than likely going to see the film one way or another – perhaps I’ll buy a ticket for another movie and sneak in as others have mentioned – perhaps not.

  4. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet. I’m still on the fence about whether the movie looks good enough to bother with – I’m not very happy that the teaser trailer spoiled the ending. Two good suggestions I’ve seen on twitter: 1) go see the movie, but donate an equal or greater amount to a LBGT non-profit, and 2) purchase a ticket for a different movie and sneak into Ender’s Game.

  5. I love the book and like you have been thinking about the controversy. My thought is I can appreciate the art without agreeing with the artist. If I made it mandatory for every actor/author/artisit to have a belief system that perfectly aligned with mine then I would miss out on an incredible amount of beauty in the world. Would you do a background check on a electrician’s personal belief system and what charities he donates money to before hiring them? I wouldn’t. To me Card is an author. I can enjoy his books without agreeing with his political beliefs. That’s my two cents : )

    • I feel pretty much the same way. I’m just seeing so many mean and hateful things towards those people choosing to see the movie that I have major guilt.

  6. The BookRiot podcast talked about this a bit last week and went over both sides of the issue (appreciating the art whether or not you agree with the artists beliefs). I came to suggest what they mentioned might be some good solutions, but it looks like others have already shared! I really loved the idea of donating the money to the organization, it seems like a great compromise.

  7. This is a tough question! Setting aside the issue of whether the movie is GOOD (I like to watch reviews before I decide to see a movie, especially when it might wreck a book I love) I usually try to avoid knowing much about an author’s politics because I don’t want that to influence how I enjoy a book. And this is such a good one! But now that it’s impossible to feign ignorance, I think I might wait for rental/on-demand. That way you’re paying a lot less and not making it a success at the box office. I don’t know if the husband will go for that though… I do give to gay rights organizations, so I guess that’s one way to feel better about the situation. It’s a tough call either way.

    • Definitely a tough call, but I’m thankful to everyone who has expressed their opinions! I normally don’t like to worry too much about the creator’s politics either, but you just can’t seem to avoid it in this instance.

  8. Personally, I don’t think your seeing the film endorses his views – it’s the money side of it that’s complicated I guess. It’s a tough one, I feel bad for the actors and everyone who produced the film, because in boycotting Card they are the ones who get damaged the most. I like the idea that you could just donate the same amount as the ticket to a LGBT cause, balances it all out then.

    However, all this calling to boycott a film just makes it more alluring to watch and gives the thing more publicity, effectively giving Card more attention and getting his books read. So really, you won’t be doing any more damage than the people calling to boycott the film in the first place.

    Also, if you want to see a film you should be able to do so without being made to feel bad because someone else has a disgusting point of view, it doesn’t mean you share it. There are plenty of bad people in this world that we feed money merely by doing what we do day to day – whether it be buying cheap clothes or visiting our local supermarket. This particular issue just happens to be in the entertainment industry, so more light is shed upon it.

    • Thank you for your thoughts! I agree that the boycott draws unnecessary attention to Card and will garner him more money in the long run. No such thing as bad press and all. Will be interesting to see what happens when the movie is released this November! I know the cast/crew attended Comic-Con last week and only briefly skirted the issue of the boycott and Card. That’s actually probably a good thing.

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