I haven’t really seen this topic brought up amongst us book bloggers, and I don’t know whether thats just cause I’m still sorting through my bloglovin or because it actually hasn’t, so please excuse me if you have brought this up or you know blogs that have and please do me the favour of linking me in the comments so myself and others can go and have a nosey.
For some of you, you may not understand why I’m bringing this question up so I’ll explain briefly how I came across discussing this topic on tumblr – which may not have been the safest of ideas as a lot of angry people can be found there – original posts can be found here, read from bottom to top.
A few days ago I watched the following video – please stick with, its not even 2 minutes:
and it only clicked earlier today who was being discussed here, so I did some further reading into OSC as a person – simply google his name and homophobia and you’ll find many a links like the one I supplied – it didn’t take long for me to find this webpage “Skip Enders Game” and twitter of the creators Geeks OUT which lead me to ask on Books and Tea tumblr:
“I really wanted to discuss / hear your opinions and thoughts on whether you’ll be boycotting it or not?”
As my opinions go, I will not be seeing the movie because I never intended too, not because of OSC behaviour (but now I guess that will count to my reason for not wanting to go too) but because I haven’t read the book, which lead me to question do I still want to read the book?
Well yes, I do.
The book is on my wishlist – and will remain that way as I’m on a book buying ban – and has glowing reviews so I’m more than happy to read it at some point in my life!
I am not bashing or hating on the book itself because the book does not have homophobic subtext in it, or so I have been told, but it does question where I stand on giving money to someone who is so open about being homophobic.
Below I shall include what people (who’s permission I got) had to say on tumblr, please note you do not have to read it all if you do not wish, so scroll to the bottom to see my conclusion.
Boycott. Same for Cassandra Clare. I would consider pirating books/films, though.
I entirely disagree about not reading Ender’s Game. First of all, when Orson Scott Card wrote it, he was not as extreme in his views as he is now. Second, the book is not homophobic – and I say this as one who has read it over and over and over again. If it is heteronormative, that is no different than a) most of society (yes, this is a problem, but also, not this book’s fault) and b) most sci-fi. The artist is separate from the art. Are we to ‘skip Charles Dickens’ because he was sexist? No.
If you find yourself in the problematic situation of wanting to read a thing, but disagreeing with the author over an issue and that author is still living (which Charles Dickens is not), then I would recommend pirating. Even if you take it out of a library, they still receive royalties and you are giving them money, potentially to do something you disagree with. Hank Green has sneakily given the same advice, concerning Orson Scott Card.
Anon answered: I read Ender’s Game when I was young and I loved it. As I got older, I began to disagree with OSC’s politics, but I still loved the book. I’m not a very political person, but the controversy does cause me to consider where the money that I put into the movie or book will go. I don’t think a person’s political/belief stance hinges on if they see this movie or not. I can appreciate a story without agreeing with the storyteller. Also the movie is a source of income for many people, not just OSC.
In response to what the anon just posted about many people’s incomes relying on the movie, those people can be split into two categories: people that receive royalties, people that don’t. Most of the actors, set designers, caterers and many that work on the film will receive a set fee, so your ticket gives them no money at all. A select few receive royalties: director, producer, a few sponsors, possibly the headline actor (depending on the agreement) and normally the author of the book.
Why do you care about people involved in making the movie? Would you also oppose banning gas cameras during WWII, because that would cause many German soldiers to lose jobs and income? Those people make lots of money, and if you and other 3 people from tumblr don’t buy their stuff, they will barely feel any difference.
akinsman answered: I think what the anon doesn’t understand is that choosing to boycott or to pirate instead is about personal integrity, not about harming other individuals. Like as not, if you go see that film, you will be putting money in the author’s pocket and money is a powerful thing. Even if my ticket doesn’t even make a dent in their profits, if I do, in full knowledge, provide someone with money to support causes that I strongly disagree with, then I would have damaged my personal integrity.
I still want to read this book. I know how horrible the author is, but a lot of the time I separate the author from his work, especially when they’re really horrible.
I haven’t read Enders Game either, and my brother has always been a huge promoter of the book, and with the movie coming out I recently purchased the book. From what I understand both from my brother and researching OSC, Enders Game and its immediate sequel are not as anti-gay as his later works. I’m not one to not read a book because of an authors views. Piffle on him, but Enders is critically acclaimed and has started out really well. I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the book.
I’ve seen a lot of people saying that if you don’t like an author as a person, you should pirate their work instead of paying to read it. While I understand the sentiment, at the same time I feel like if you have that much of a problem with the author, don’t read their works, period. If you really like their works, then you should figure out whether getting to read them or boycotting the author is more important. Counselling people to pirate the works is not okay.
Overall it seems that a few people were unaware of OSC’s behaviour which is why I wanted to share here too, and those of you who still want to read the book after this and are torn about handing money to someone who is homophobic the best solution would be to check out second hand shops!
Do you have any input on this subject?