The ongoing struggle of homosexuals in American society to gain the freedom to live their lives with the same rights all people deserve is an exciting tale of triumph and tragedy, which is just one of the many things it has in common with the upcoming blockbuster movie, Ender's Game. Based on a Hugo and Nebula award winning novel by Orson Scott Card, the film tells the story, set in Earth's future, of an imperiled mankind after two conflicts with the "Buggers", an insectoid alien species. Ender's Game is the first in a series of popular science fiction novels that includes over twenty novels and short stories, making it a rich source of material that can be mined for sequels, all of which will funnel more money to Card, a well-known homophobe and anti-gay rights activist. Will this unsavory outcome affect the film's box office success?
"I'm planning to wait in line all week to get tickets to see the movie at a midnight showing on Thursday night," said one fanatical Ender's Game fan, Christina Moseley, when The Outhouse spoke to her outside the Carmike Summit 16 multiplex cinema in Birmingham, Alabama. "Just like same sex couples have been waiting patiently for decades to enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples. I feel that the hardships I will probably endure while camping out in line to purchase a ticket will probably help me better understand the struggles of my gay brothers and sisters."
Moseley is one of millions of Ender's Game fans that are doing their best to justify and rationalize their decision to support a movie based on a book by an author who has also put his literary talents to use writing articles denouncing same sex marriage, at times connecting homosexuality with pedophilia and claiming that most homosexuals are damaged people who turned gay after being raped or molested. Card, as a member of the board of directors of the National Organization for Marriage, has actively campaigned to thwart the progress of equal rights in America. But should that impressive legacy of hate and bigotry prevent moviegoers from enjoying a big budget adaptation of his popular books?
"i support gay rights," asserted longtime science fiction fan David Barnett as he frowned meaningfully. "I think that people should have the right to love and marry whomever they want, you know? So it saddens me to know that an author whose work I enjoy has such hate in his heart."
"At the same time," Barnett continued, "it's been a while since we've had a successful new sci-fi series. Sure, we've got Star Trek and Star Wars, but I'm talking about something new. The last Matrix movie came out in 2003, and it was one of the worst movies ever made, so we could really use a win here."
"I'll probably see the movie twice," Barnett added, pointing out that, while his patronage will almost certainly send the message to Hollywood producers that it's profitable to adapt the work of writers with despicable, bigoted views, it will also increase the chances of the film getting one or more sequels.
"Ender's Game is in my top twenty sci-fi novel series, easily," proclaimed Internet Movie Database forum poster MetaEthikal420. "So while I understand that gays want to like, get married and stuff, I don't see why they would be so selfish as to try to prevent me from enjoying this movie turning into a billion dollar franchise, you know? I mean, that's basically the same thing. It's so hypocritical."
"Anyway, Card said recently that it's all a moot point," he continued, referring to Card's comments on the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act and overturning California's gay marriage ban. "So it's all better now. Homophobia, like racism, is over. So let's just stop the madness before anyone else gets hurt."
Indeed, while some might find it inappropriate to support the work of an author who, in 2011, wrote a novella titled Hamlet's Father that was nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to link the pedophilia with homosexuality again, what they may not be considering is how many innocent people will be hurt if the movie does not do well.
"Just think about all the producers, actors, and film crews who will suffer if the movie bombs," pleaded Hollywood insider Cecil Austin. "I mean, what's more important, showing solidarity and support for fellow human beings who are persecuted, denied basic rights, sometimes attacked, and occasionally even driven to suicide simply for being who they are and loving who they love, or making sure that Lionsgate Entertainment gets a decent return on all the money they invested in making this film?"
"The answer is clear to me," Austin concluded, pointing out that just because Card has gone on record as saying that homosexuals should be imprisoned for being gay doesn't mean that Harrison Ford shouldn't make millions of dollars for starring in the film. "Just think about the consequences if Ford doesn't make enough money from this. He might have to make another Indiana Jones movie."
The stakes are dire indeed. Make sure to head to your local movie theater on Friday and vote with your wallet to show that, while the issue of equal rights for all mankind is an important one, it's not as important, in the grand scheme of things, as the 114 minutes of mild entertainment that a mediocre, forgettable sci-fi action flick will probably provide.