On November 1st, 2013, I am proud to say that I will be participating in SKIP ENDER’S GAME.
Where: Glad Day Book Shop, 3rd floor event space When: November 1st, 7pm-9pm
The lovely GEEKS OUT is coordinating a continent-wide series of parties, each hosted at a different venue in different cities, where LGBTQA artists of all stripes will be doing readings, screenings, musical performances, and many other fun things. I think this is a great idea, because not only is it asking people to skip the film, but this way people will be exposed to lots of other fantastic artists whose beliefs and work support the queer community.
However, since announcing that I will be appearing at SKIP ENDER’S GAME TORONTO, I’ve had a few questions about why I’m supporting this event, and why I’ve chosen to boycott “Ender’s Game”. To make things easy, I thought I’d answer those questions here.
If you have more questions, I’m happy to answer them, but I’d like to keep the tone respectful, please.
Also, there’s a really thorough and thoughtful set of FAQs on the official Skip Ender’s Game site, so I really encourage every .
#1 What about all those people who worked on the film? They won’t get paid if we don’t go.
They’ve already been paid.
As someone who works in film, let me clarify: Everyone who works on making a film who did not risk their own money gets a paycheque for their work. The final result of the box office does not affect the pay of the actors, the camera man, the crew, the caterer, the wardrobe department, the locations scouts, etc. They get paid their weekly allotment as they’re working on the film, just as anyone else might if they work in retail, an office, etc.
The only people who get a share any of the box office money are the people who put money into making the film – the studio, the funding agencies, the granting agencies, and the executive producers.
Sometimes, like in the case of the Sherlock Holmes films and Robert Downey, jr, an actor can sometimes also be both the actor and one of the executive producers.
In the case of “Ender’s Game”, Card was one of the executive producers. Obviously, I haven’t seen his contract, but as an executive producer, he is in all likelihood going to be getting a cut of the box office, residuals, and possibly things like DVD/Blu Ray/Digital Download sales, and merchandise sales.
And I, as a queer woman, choose not to put my money in his pocket, no matter how small that percentage will be.
But the people who worked on the film? They got their paycheques last year. They’re all working on different films now. And if “Ender’s Game” gets no sequel deal, or no other OSC books are made into films, then they’ll find other work. There’s always work in Hollywood. There’s always a hundred thousand other films in the pipeline, just waiting to be greenlit.
A failed box office for “Ender’s Game” does not affect the workers of Hollywood.
A failed box office for “Ender’s Game” it also sends a pretty clear message to any studio who was ever thinking of working with OSC again: This Man Is An Unwise Investment.
#2 Why don’t you want your money to go to OSC?
Think of it as a personal choice.
I am a queer woman. Orson Scott Card is a man who has publically stated that I am a) confused and unhappy simply because I am queer, b) not a real person and that my sexual identity is just deviant behavior and not really a part of who I am and c) that he would applaud violent action taken against any government that will grant me personhood. (See here for citations and quotes.)
If I go to see Ender’s Game, the money I pay to see the film will end up, in whatever small a percentage, in Card’s pocket. Orson Scott Card was not only paid for being the original writer of Ender’s Game, as a producer on the film he gets a take of residuals, royalties, and box office. He will then take my money and use it to continue to fund organizations that deny me my rights as a human being and citizen of a democratic country, and will further demean, bully, slander me, and spread hateful doctrine that could possibly lead to me being physically harmed, raped, or murdered.
So, no, no thanks. I don’t think I’ll be going to see “Ender’s Game”. It’s a personal choice.
#3 But what’s your issue with the movie? There’s no anti-queer stuff in the book/movie.
I’ve never read the book “Ender’s Game”, so I can’t comment on the content. I have read OSC’s “Enchantment” and found that I really liked the cleverness, the word and world crafting, and could forgive the misplaced minor misogynistic moments. That’s why it made me all the more disappointed when I learned of OSC’s personal view of, well, me.
I had to stop purchasing his work, because I couldn’t justify my money going into the pocket of an egregiously anti-queer activist. ESPECIALLY considering that I make an effort to include characters of different orientations, races, and genders in my own novels.
I work hard to use my work to respectfully uplift and celebrate the very people that OSC personally reviles and publically condemns. I can’t comment on whether I find his work contains the same vitriol that his public articles, blog posts, and statements have, because I have, on moral grounds, refused to read and/or purchase it.
Which is a real shame, because I hear “Ender’s Game” is an excellent read.
#4 You can’t tell me what to do! You can’t tell everyone to boycott a film!
I’m not telling you what to do. I’m stating why I’ve made the choice I’ve made. I hope that you consider my points when you make your own choice, whatever it may be.