DonAithnen (donaithnen) wrote,
DonAithnen
donaithnen

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Dilemma

So someone pointed out something unpleasant regarding the upcoming "Ender's Game" movie. And no, it isn't that Card is a homophobic dipshit.

For those who don't pay attention to such things, Orson Scott Card uses his money and fame to advocate for preventing the legalization of gay marriage. He has even gone so far as to say that if the government did legalize gay marriage he would then support the violent overthrow of the government.

Normally i try to go by the "separate the art from the artist" thing. There are a number of artists whose works i like who hold political views i disagree with, or are generally assholes, or possess other negative traits. And in general i try not to think about it too much. The times i consider making exceptions is A: when those beliefs or personality traits obviously influence the art, and B: when said artist uses the proceeds from their work (both the monetary and the less tangible ones) to loudly and actively advocate for something i strongly disagree with. In both cases they've already eliminated the separation between the art and the artist, whether directly or not, so i don't feel that inclined to observe it myself.

Card obviously meets case (B), but apparently he's straying into (A) territory as well. I haven't actually read "Empire" yet, but the main theme is crazy Liberals trying to take over the government and starting a civil war. Which is kind of ironic since he's already expressed his support for civil war under the "right" circumstances. But i guess he figured it's easier to frame the people trying to take over the government as the bad guys in fiction, so...

So in any case, i've been reluctant to support Card for a number of years now, which is sad because he has written some great books. (I presume most of the relevant people have already read "Ender's Game" and "Xenocide." "Pastwatch" is much less well known, and if you want to go check it out of a library rather than buy it i'd recommend it.)

Then a couple years back the "Ender's Game" movie finally got off the ground after over a decade of false starts and is slated to come out later this year. I was figuring that i would boycott the movie just like i've been trying to boycott everything else associated with him.

So the unpleasant bit that i hadn't really thought of until now: Hollywood is dumb. And Ender's Game is the first big studio adaptation of a "hard" SF novel in years. In the event that it does poorly, the industry isn't going to think "perhaps it was boycotted by a lot of people who disagree with Card's political views." They're going to think "well i guess movie audiences aren't interested in adaptations of 'hard' SF novels."

(Speaking of which, when was the last one? That wasn't a remake of a previous film? And wasn't Philip K Dick? A quick wikipedia scan isn't finding much. I'd hesitate to call "The Time Traveler's Wife" hard science fiction. _Maybe_ "City of Ember"? The first one i come to that i can definitely say "hard science fiction novel" is "I, Robot" from 2004, and... well...)

Of course it's doubtful that "Ender's Game" could do so well that all the studios will rush out and start buying up rights to, and more importantly actually producing, lots of hard science fiction novel movies, but do i really want to even further reduce the chance of that by boycotting this movie because the author is a bigoted asshole?

One could argue that with examples like I, Robot and Starship Troopers to draw from that perhaps i _shouldn't_ want more adaptations of great books to be made, but then there's also Blade Runner, 2001, 2010, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and probably others i'm forgetting about.
Tags: books, movies
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