The Blacklisting of Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card wrote the bestselling novel "Ender's Game" which is a movie out this weekend. I haven't seen it but I was thinking about it and I'll probably get out at some point. I read the book and liked it; didn't love it but I'm still interested.

But as I read the reviews of the movie I keep seeing the same thing over and over.

Slate Magazine began its review this way:
It’s an odd week when you follow up a review of a movie about a homophobe—Jean-Marc Vallée’s excellent Dallas Buyers Club—with a review of a movie by a homophobe, or, rather, based on a best-selling book by a very prominent one.

The Boston Globe began their review this way:
Ironically, given Orson Scott Card’s foolish and futile opposition to gay rights, his 1985 YA sci-fi novel “Ender’s Game” not only preaches tolerance, but has also given solace to countless gay kids and other outsiders struggling with loneliness and alienation. And some of the scenes in the book — an assault in the shower, for example — are frankly homoerotic. So the good his book has done helping kids cope has probably more than balanced any damage the author himself has done with his outspoken homophobia.
And let's just all agree that Card's view on marriage is mentioned an awful lot in the reviews. And not in a good way.

Card has also lost work because of his beliefs on marriage. Just last year he was hired to write a digital comic for Superman but the backlash against DC was so nasty and vitriolic that he lost that gig.

This is McCarthyism folks.

Interestingly, despite threats of a boycott and the nastiness from the critics, the movie is #1 at the box office, collecting $28 million. That's good news.



  1. Interesting. I just finished reading "Lacuna", in which the evolution of the destruction of a man's reputation and career is followed during the McCarthy era and it was done in exactly this way.

  2. Except McCarthy never did anything like that, he was only concerned with spies in the State Department, and we now know that every single person he accused was guilty (not just of spying, of spying for Stalin). Barbara Kingsolver is not a historian, and The Lacuna is mere reiteration of a counter-historical left-wing myth. (Imagine if the protagonist worked as a secretary for Adolf Eichmann—that was the level of evil Trotsky was responsible for, he was as involved in the early Bolshevik atrocities as Lenin himself; merely having one's career destroyed after collaborating with a monster like that is getting off easy.)

    The trouble with describing this as McCarthyism is that McCarthyism mostly never happened, and to the extent it did, Communists are getting off easy as long as you aren't robbing, raping, and murdering them by the tens of millions. When exactly did opponents of gay marriage deliberately starve 8-11 million Ukrainians? When did they rape half a million women in Poland alone, in 1945 alone? When did any single opponent of gay marriage kill hundreds of farmers, some as young as fourteen, like Che Guevara (who sometimes got bored with shooting them and killed them with a shovel to the back of the head)?

    By throwing around the "McCarthyism" slur, you're perpetuating one of the vilest untruths in human history—the myth of "moral equivalence" ("McCarthyism" is trotted out whenever Communist purges are brought up, because HUAC had so many people shot or sent to the gulag, right?)—and also indirectly equating the injustice being committed against Orson Scott Card to the richly deserved ill-treatment of people whose ideology makes them all collaborators with butchery worse than the Holocaust a dozen times over.

  3. Card, being a man of faith and principle, makes a perfect target. No surprise here.

  4. It's surprising that Card is actually opposed to gay marriage considering Ender's Game's ending in which sympathy and understanding prevail.

  5. @77a35f90-24aa-11e3-b423-000bcdca4d7a: Why, you've shown me the light! 6000 years of human culture and a billion and a half years of sexual reproduction are as nothing, for I now have "sympathy and understanding" of people who want to pretend that their two-member circle-jerks constitute actual mating!

    (I realize you probably have to be told, but that's sarcasm.)

    Also? The ending of Ender's Game is about how people who commit war-crimes and genocide and are basically serial killer sociopaths aren't actually evil, because they're special snowflakes who are too good for "morals". So maybe you don't want to invoke its authority.

  6. Haven't read-- or recommended-- "Girl Genus" since one of the authors took to their facebook page to demand that all bigots be boycotted. Seeing as I bought some of their gear, and had worked to get their books stocked in various places, this isn't exactly a "oh no we don't have a freeloader" situation.
    How can I not respect their request that I not read them, when they curse a man for speaking about his religion?


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