Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, July 15, 2013

A look at both sides of the controversal board for Ender's Game

While plenty of big summer movie showpieces are being displayed at the multiplex this season,concerns about an upcoming sci-fi flick for the fall are causing quite a cinematic stir.

 Due this November, the big screen adaptation of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game has already inspired a call for a boycott of the film and it's merchandise,due to the author's long standing intolerance towards the LGBT community.

 OSC is not merely against gay marriage, he also has stated very outdated beliefs and prejudices regarding the gay lifestyle over the years, which brought about a strong protest against his being a guest author for DC's Adventures of Superman series(the project was put on hold,particularly after the illustrator Chris Sprouse chose to give up the assignment).

 With OSC also being a producer of the film, this protest is designed to hit him right square in the pocket book,giving new meaning to the phrase "put your money where your mouth is":

 The studio is naturally worried about the boycott and it has raised a few hackles amongst fans,along with concerns from LGBT supporters who feel that the time and energy devoted to this cause could be better spent elsewhere for the benefit of the gay community.

Granted, the latter makes a valid point but since OSC will directly reap any financial rewards from the possible success of the movie, I felt that this boycott is well aimed at the proper target. As long as the cast and crew(which more than likely had no idea about the author's views) are not harassed for their participation in the film, I'm very supportive of the boycott.

In fact, I think a fun counter move would be to strongly encourage film goers to see the animated feature Free Birds,which opens up that same weekend,instead. After all, Despicable Me 2 beat out the Lone Ranger(that raised many an eyebrow due to Johnny Depp's taking on a Native American role) big time at the box office recently and it had the advantage of being a sequel, so Free Birds could use an extra push there. Besides, it also has a sci-fi theme in the form of time traveling turkeys( I am so not making that up,folks) and geared for both kids and adults,so why not?

Orson Scott Card's reaction has been to release a statement that reeks of sour grapes, as he claims the gay marriage issue is now "moot" due to the recent Supreme Court decisions and that people should show him tolerance for his views. A call for tolerance from an intolerant man, the irony is certainly rich here:

The infighting amongst fans is what has me worried,between those who are beating themselves up for liking his work and those whose argument for seeing the movie(and encouraging others to do so) is "separate the art from the artist."

 The problem with that stance is that it's far easier to be forgiving of an artist's personal life when he or she has been dead for a hundred years. For example, I can appreciate the works of Charles Dickens(who was a terrible husband in every sense of the word) while finding it hard to even watch a Woody Allen film these days. Hollywood may have forgiven Woody for what he did to Mia but I'm not so charitable.

Also,while people do have the right to hold opposing views, we do have the right to vehemently disagree with such ignorant and outlandish viewpoints and as to respect, such a thing must be earned at times:

  For those of you regretting your enjoyment of OSC's books before you knew his views, don't be so hard on yourselves. Many of us have been disillusioned by artists whose work inspired their partakers to expand their mental horizons and it's not a reflection on you as a person.

 It's like with me and Woody Allen; do I regret watching his earlier films? No. Would I recommend some of them to folks who haven't seen them before? Yes, but mainly for rental or cable viewing. Do I think less of film fans who continue to see his movies in theaters? No, because it's their personal choice as much as mine to do or do not. As long as neither of us contests our right to agree to disagree,it's all good.

 And,no, I am not saying that Orson Scott Card's books should be banned. There are ways to read them without directly putting cash in his pocket(that's what libraries are for!) if you're interested to check him out but be prepared for some serious disgust if you run into his novella Hamlet's Father( very WTF material,trust me on this). However, I do respect the right of peaceful protesters to "let the marketplace decide" as the saying goes.

Of course, it is possible that this situation will solve itself at the box office this fall. It wouldn't be the first time a questionable fantasy film received fame for it's less than stellar performance,financially and/or artistically, so we shall have to wait and see-preferably from a safe distance in another theater at the multiplex:

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