For some reason the talk about boycotting the movie adaption of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game has gone sort of viral in the last week or so. Well, that should be it has come up again because of the statement Card made about wanting people to be tolerant towards him. In SFF circles it's been months since I first saw talk about boycotting the movie. But as usual the press is not following what goes on in SFF (, or any other subculture for that matter), so it's taken a while for them to catch on.
I'm perfectly clear where I stand, I will not let any of my money go to Card, so I am essentially boycotting anything he does. (Although I make an exception for anthologies, if someone needs to know why, ask in the comments.) Card has been very vocal in his hatred of homosexuals, his support of taking away their rights, and even imprisoning them.
It's no secret that Card has been giving financial support to organisations who oppose basic human rights for homosexuals. And that means there is every reason to believe that any money you show Card's way, will be used to directly oppose the rights of homosexuals. Anyone who has read about the boycott should be aware of that.
So then it becomes a choice of what is more important to the individual. Is it the same rights for homosexuals as anyone else, or is it seeing (,or reading as may be the case, ) Science Fiction? Personally I think that is the easiest choice in the world. But if you want to be the kind of asshole that puts their personal satisfaction before universal rights, that's your choice. -I will however think you are an absolute fucktard if that is your choice. And I will not take anything you say about any anti-discrimination, or other social issue, seriously. Because you have shown yourself to be a bigot who only supports issues that don't effect you personally.
Having looked at the coverage of the proposed boycott, one argument against it is that you must "separate the art and the artist"?
In this case that isn't an issue at all. Card wrote this anti-homosexual novella, so he uses his art to promote his anti-homosexual stance.
Another objection to boycott that comes up is the "slippery slope" argument. Some people have gone on record saying they are "uncomfortable" with boycotting Card because of what that could lead to.
I find that silly, we are talking about someone who actively promotes taking away, or not giving, someone rights here. None of the examples of people who have suffered political boycotts of their art that I have seen are in a remotely similar position.
And then we have the argument about all the artists through history that have been racist, misogynist, fascist, etc, and how we would lose out on a lot of art if we started boycotting people with despicable views.
That is a really easy one to counter. The people mentioned are DEAD, they are not actively promoting their views. They are not getting any money they can donate to their causes, because they are DEAD. In addition to that many of those mentioned held views that were not seen as despicable in their time. (Projecting modern sensibilities onto the past is at best ignorant and at worst historical revisionism.)
But really all of that is a pointless exercise in debating. When it comes down to it every one makes choices of who we support with or money every day. Some people buy only fair trade products (when those are available), some only organic vegetables, some only buy books from local independent stores, and there's a lot of other choices that I'm sure you can come up with.
When it comes to Card in particular, you have a choice. The choice isn't read Card, or don't read Science Fiction. There are plenty of Science Fiction (, or indeed Fantasy - something Card has also written,) books out there not written by Card for you to pick up.
Likewise, there is a lot of Science Fiction to view that is not based on something Card has written. It may not be in the cinema at the same time as Ender's Game, but I'm sure there's some Science Fiction on DVD/Blueray that you haven't seen that you could buy for the money you don't spend on watching Ender's Game.
Using your money to see Ender's Game is a conscious choice, and if you are reading this you know what you most likely are supporting if you do. I'd like you to think about if you really want to give Card the money he can use to support his causes before you see this movie.