If Ender’s Game Won’t Make Orson Scott Card Any Money, Will You Still Boycott The Movie?

fb share tweet share

EnderI don’t envy Summit Entertainment or the makers of the Ender’s Game movie. I’m sure they all want to make the very best version of Orson Scott Card’s acclaimed novel that they can, but the project has been continuously overshadowed by Card’s outspoken anti-gay opinions and advocacy. Naturally, this means the film has been surrounded by controversy, with campaigns leveraging social media to try and encourage the public to boycott the movie so as to ensure Card doesn’t profit from it. But what if Card isn’t going to make a penny off it regardless? Should the movie still be boycotted?

It might not be just a hypothetical. The folks over at The Wrap claim that “multiple sources from both inside and outside” Summit Entertainment and other companies involved with the production say the Ender’s Game movie was made under a “decade-old deal” that doesn’t grant Card any back-end profits from the film. In other words, he’s already been paid what he’s going to get paid, and whether Ender’s Game makes $200 billion or a handful of loose change, none of that money will go to Card. If that’s true — and obviously you either have to take The Wrap and their sources at their word or not — then should that change the minds of potential boycotters?

After all, the downside of boycotting the movie is that it will negatively affect all the hard-working people who just really want to make a good Ender’s Game movie. Maybe they succeeded at that task and maybe they didn’t — we’ll find out on Friday — but it’d be a shame for those people to have their hard work discounted and penalized because they find themselves in the middle of a moral squabble they didn’t ask to join. Of course, the folks in favor of the boycott would counter that that’s not the point — the point is that some things demand people of conscience to make a stand against them, and it’s not like Card’s feelings or statements have only come to light recently. They knew Card’s reputation would be an issue from the start, so they can’t complain about getting caught in the crosshairs now.

If you are in the camp that thinks a boycott is something that needs to happen, The Wrap suggests a more productive approach would be to boycott the book itself. Card does profit nicely from sales of the novel, and it’s currently sitting atop the New York Times Bestseller List. Assuming The Wrap’s claims are true, not buying the book would hurt Card’s pocketbook a lot more than not buying a ticket to the movie.

Honestly, it’s a complex issue with no clear-cut, easy answers. I absolutely understand the folks who see this as a moral issue, but I also think on some level the movie should be judged on its own merits — or lack of them — rather than the tangential baggage the source material brings along with it. And let’s face it: I guarantee something you’ve paid for in the past has benefited a cause you don’t like, in one way or another. It’s just a lot more out in the open with Card and Ender’s Game.

What do you think? Is your decision to boycott or not boycott Ender’s Game changed by the possibility that Card won’t make any money off it? Sound off in the comments below…but do try to keep it as cordial as possible, folks.


  1. Boothby171 says:

    But there IS an easy answer:

    Don’t boycott the movie, support the groups you say you support!


  2. Chad says:

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Boycotting a movie because you don’t like an opinion of the author of the book the movie is based on is rather immature. It’s basically one of those “you agree with me or you suck” type of situations…and I don’t much care for people who insist anyone who doesn’t agree with them are bad/evil/wrong/use whatever verb you like to finish this sentence.

    • KeroT says:

      What if the author came out and said he hated Jews, or Black people, or White for that matter. Should we respect his opinion then to?

      • compugurl says:

        People still read Mein Kampf.

        • Boothby171 says:

          Some people read Mein Kampf for ideas, and I do worry about them. If a bunch of Neo-Nazis march through my town, I’m not going to be respecting them; I’ll probably be protesting against them. Or contributing to the JDL or something.

          Others read it to be aware of a horribly dark part of our mutual history, to “know thine enemy,” if you would. My dad’s a student of history–WWII history being a focus of his. He’s probably read it, and I’m not in the least bit worried about him! There’s a difference.

          Still, as much as I’d love to see Neo-Nazis just fade away, they do have the right to think what they want. They do NOT have the right to try and impose their will on others; it’s certainly OK to push back.

          It feels ridiculous that I even have to SAY these things! This should be obvious, by now.

          • KeroT says:

            Im sorry to say that it’s not obvious for some people. History has a unique ability to repeat itself. Its like we don’t have the ability to learn from the errors our ancestors made.
            Call it whatever you want. Human behavior, some genetic error?

            Anyway, my point is: never feel ridiculous overstating the obvious. There are always those who didn’t get the point the first time 🙂

      • Adrian State says:

        No we should not respect his opinions – but that does not mean we cannot respect his work

        • KeroT says:

          Good point, but Im divided on that.
          If I totally disagree with someone, on that level, I could maybe respect his work as long as his work did not reflect his opinion.
          But I’m not sure I could support it.

      • Technoangina says:

        Respect his right to say it, but you don’t have to respect what comes out of his mouth. By the same token just because he has a right to say it doesn’t mean you have to listen.

        • KeroT says:

          He has the right to mean whatever he means. But he should use his right to shut up when his opinion have the potential to hurt other peoples way of life. And he should be intelligent enogh to understand this himself. But obviously he`s not.

          • EnigmaMaitreya says:

            Oh your EXPRESSED OPINION has so wounded me and crippled me for life, “use your right to shut up” because you have hurt me.

          • We are sadly living in an age where peoples’ feelings trump freedom of speech. Feelings have somehow become tangible, almost litigation-worthy objects of attention.

            Twenty years ago if someone called someone else a fag, it was no big deal. How do I know this? Because I was there. People have become too thin-skinned and while I do not advocate nastiness for the sake of it, a person’s earnest opinion on a contested subject like gay rights/marriage should never make them a pariah.

            We discuss issues as human beings and have disagreements because that is how we learn and grow. You may as well start burning the many books with puritanical views if you are going to persecute the Chik-fil-a’s and the Orson Scott Card’s of this world.

      • Junius Stone says:

        It has nothing to do with “respecting his opinion”. But again, separate art from artist. Why do we need to agree (agreement is not respect) with someone’s opinions, no matter how odious or not, whether to consider their creations on their own merits?
        I don’t want to hear about Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson or whatever. They made some GREAT movies and I’ve less respect for people who can’t separate those works of art from the antics of those involved from their creations.
        People are flawed. If you limit art appreciation to saints, I daresay your selection will be limited.
        And bland.

      • SubSumeYou says:

        But, he didn’t, did he? He has an issue with one matter and you want to include everything else. Right.

    • Matt Reynolds says:

      But Orson scott card, on the other hand, is known to do a great deal for HIS cause! If anything, preventing him from donating to his favorite anti-gay organizations is reason enough to boycott it, and even though I am not gay myself and love the novel, I feel like this movie could have a tragic flaw for this very reason.

      • Glenn Griffith says:

        This comment right here has sealed the deal. I’ll see it for sure. And the fact that you have to throw in the “Im not gay” makes you look homophobic.

      • EnigmaMaitreya says:

        And how many millions of dollars that would have been donated gay charities by Lions Gate did your desire to punish Card no matter what the cost, cost them?

    • Technoangina says:

      It’s immature not to support something created by someone you disagree with? Are you sure that’s the logic bridge you want to cross here? Supporting the movie means he could get a sequel deal with significantly better terms and actually profit off of it, which he could then turn and plow into his favorite anti-whatever cause. You’re negating the whole benefit of capitalism with your inane statement, things you don’t agree with don’t get supported and they go away and get replaced by something better. My money doesn’t willingly go to people who go out of their way to limit the rights or general happiness of others.

    • MuskForPresident says:

      Hitler was a painter, so I guess you would have been fine commissioning (while he was still alive) a portrait from him? And before you say “Well that’s different”, Card is actively working to take people’s rights away. He can believe what he wants, but once he tries to oppress someone, he’s fair game for boycott. If he’s going to try to take someone’s rights away (as well as encourage bullying and hate crimes), I think depriving him of money is fair. If you don’t like gay marriage, Card, don’t marry a dude!

      • EnigmaMaitreya says:

        Realy Realy Realy stretching there aren’t you. Hitler physically went after people JUST LIKE YOU ARE DOING. The only valid comparison here is YOU TO HITLER.

    • Daniel Davison says:

      No, it’s a matter of “I am not giving you money for you to invest in legislation that makes my life harder.”

      Why does no one get that?

  3. Dyce Raptor says:

    Often times I hear this occurring with controversial actors/actresses. I’m a Libertarian, but am fairly surrounded by conservative Republicans in my personal life. It annoys me when they jump on the band wagon of boycotting George Clooney’s movies (such as the recent and AWESOME Gravity). The same can be said for the left wing morons that are boycotting Ender’s Game. A good story is a good story, no matter who is telling it, or acting in it. Grow up people. The only way we as a species can survive is by respecting people even if we disagree with their opinions.

    • Technoangina says:

      Yet another libertarian hypocrite trying to tell other people not to follow the free market. You’ve just negated the whole point of libertarian philosphy by saying don’t use the free market to get rid of the media you want to consume.

      • Dyce Raptor says:

        Well that was… confusing. I 100% believe in the free market. I want people to use the free market.

      • Glenn Griffith says:

        Comprehension problems?? He never said not to use the free market. Quite the opposite actually.

  4. Eric Willhelm says:

    Whatever happened to the time when we would applaud folks for standing firm in what they believe instead of going with the popular thing? “What’s right isn’t always popular. What’s popular isn’t always right.-“Howard Cosell

    • KeroT says:

      sarcasm -> Yes, I long for the days when people could proudly say that white people where the superior race. Segregating groups inn society should most deff be a human right, NO, a hetro-sexual right. We should give all hetro-sexual people rights that no other people have. Gays and lesbians should wear some kind of symbol, a star maybe, and we should put them inn…lets see…a getto. <-sarcasm

      Why do people forget history so easily? Is there something wrong with the school system inn America?

      • Eric Willhelm says:

        So he can only voice his opinion if it’s what the majority agrees with other wise STFU?

        And if you wanna bring up the rights of other others gorup, what about polygamist?

        • Nicki Dreyer says:

          There’s a difference between stating an opinion – “I don’t like chocolate” and being racist/genderist/homophobic “i hate blacks/women/homosexuals”….which is why religion [often a majority] confuses me: “we should all love each other because God made us all….but homosexuality is wrong”
          It’s not just about being a majority…its about the basic human right for people to live and love how they want as long as no one else is [physically] harmed by it

        • KeroT says:

          The short answer to the polygamist question: I don’t give a **** how other grown up people live their lives, as long its done on equal terms. It`s non of my business.

          Look, freedom of speech, and the right to voice our opinion is a great. But we have the same right to just shut up sometimes, right? And that privilege is something we should cherries more often.

          The question is, why can’t people just mind their own damn business?

          We all now that Orson Scott Card is a Mormon or something, and we all now that religious people thru history, have done devastating and terrible things to small groups of people.

          So my claim is, If you speak down on a group on behalf of a God, or behalf of fear, or because you think you can benefit personally from it, then you have forfeited your right to state your opinion, and should use your right to shut up.

          I actually agree with you Mr.Willhelm. We should stand firm when we have an opinion. But not if that opinion hurts innocent people, who only want to live their lives.

        • Boothby171 says:


          He can voice his opinion, and he can work to impose his opinion on others through legislation.

          But at the same time, I can voice MY opinion, and work to work to impose MY opinion on others through legislation. Just the same as everyone else here.

          I can also chose to boycott a product that is being promoted by that someone who is trying to impose their opposite opinion on me, just as he can boycott a product that *I* might support.

          The religious “right” has never had a problem boycotting products and people they oppose. Take a quick Google™ and find out for yourself.

          What I am sensing here, though, with all the people saying that they support Card and people shouldn’t boycott him–often in the same breath–is that they wish to retain that political tool for themselves (boycotting), and are subtly trying to convince their opponents NOT to feel comfortable using it.

    • Technoangina says:

      Freedom of speech and opinion does not mean freedom from the responsibilities and repercussions of said speech or opinions. You are more than welcome to have an opinion. I don’t have to support that opinion to respect that you have a right to have it. Your actions on said opinion are a totally separate issue.

  5. Matt Adele Harris says:

    He has a right to say whatever he wants and people have a right to react to what he says however they wish. I for one will choose to watch the movie.

  6. wakaka says:

    The man has a right to his opinion. I disagree with it but I’m not childish enough to believe everyone should believe and think exactly as I do. To each their own.

  7. Adrian State says:

    I like Orson Scott Cards books because they are well crafted stories. His personal views are in my view quite abhorrent – however I fail to see why that should make me boycott his work.
    I dislike scientologu but it wouldn’t prevent me seeing a movie with Tom Cruise in it.

    • Technoangina says:

      Funnily enough, I actually had the same crossroads with Tom Cross as you and decided to go the other way and not support his work. Curious as to what was the tipping point for you to decide one way or the other, or was a just a gray area and you picked path of least resistance?(No judgement here, actually just curious how other people come to their decisions based on the same set of facts)

  8. jed_hoyer says:

    i’ll watch it as many times as i can. one mans opion doesn’t matter to me.

  9. MuskForPresident says:

    The reviews (by real people who matter) say the movie is terrible, so I’m not going to see it anyway. The fact that Scott isn’t going to make a penny? Bonus. The signs that this was going to be terrible were there all along. 1) It’s from the “visionary” studio that gave us Twilight. 2) It’s from the “visionary” director that gave us Xmen Origins: Wolverine (One of if not the worst superhero movies of all time. It made Xmen 3 seem almost competent.) 3) The actor playing the main character is over twice the age of the character in the book. 4) The movie sat finished on the shelf for a year- meaning the studio knew it had a turkey. 5) It was made during Harrison Ford’s “Where’s my paycheck?” phase. 6) The studio only released it now to cash in on Ford’s Oscar buzz for 41 and ride the coattails of the marketing for Gravity. Now that this movie will flop, Card will never get another Hollywood deal- which is good. Authors don’t make money on their first movie deal (Stephen King only got a few thousand dollars for Carrie), they only make “big bucks” on their second or third.

  10. Bigdaddy says:

    Saw the movie and loved it, I’m not letting his bad views on homosexuality ruin a good story for me.

  11. Daniel Davison says:

    I don’t believe Card’s role as co-producer excludes residuals. I think that is a fabrication rolled out at the last minute to try to stave off a boycott. When you sell screen rights to a film, it’s credited as “based on the works of…”, not as co-producer. Still boycotting the film.

  12. kem says:

    I wouldn’t see the movie because they changed the book too much. Putting in a love interest because Hollywood can make a movie without one.

  13. kem says:

    Sorry can not

  14. medie_2 says:

    Even if he didn’t make direct money off the movie itself, it’s success would drive sales of the book. As we’ve already stipulated, he still makes money off that and that’s not including the interviews and media attention that has already garnered him a bigger platform from which to spew his hate.

    Maybe it’s different for people who have a choice, but he believes I deserve less rights because I’m bisexual. Why would I support someone who not only believes that, but campaigns to see it happen?

  15. Ron says:

    I am a Gay man and read and researched much before I finally made my
    decision to see the movie with two other Gay men. Yes,Card will benefit in some ways IF the movie does big box office, but It is my understanding that more money will be donated and Entertainment leaders will speak out against Card’s sated view. That all having been said, the story shows great humanity and does carry a positive message…. I strongly disagree with Card’s expressed views but NO one is totally right or good and NO one is totally wrong and evil. The man’s work is valid.

  16. How about you just watch the fucking movie and not bring social issues into it as the movie itself has absolute zero to do with any of that.

  17. demoncat_4 says:

    it really does not matter what some one does boycotting the movie or not for those who want to see enders game regardless of cards views will do so. and the same with buying the book. for scott will be making some money due more so now to the controversy over enders game . for controversy sometime makes people curious to see what all the uproar is over something now enders game.

  18. Jack says:

    What did happen to freedom of speech? Or do you only have freedom of speech if you agree with the current ‘politically correct’ dominant discourse? Just remember
    the end of debates leads to the ends of democracies – Don’t watch the movie?
    Are people for real? Next it will be burn all his books! Gee you could make a
    movie out that…oops no that’s been done in Fahrenheit 451!

  19. Kari Kristine Haugberg says:

    I bought the book years ago before I ever knew about the personal despiccableness of the author. If the story is true, and Card wont get anything from the movie, then I won’t boiicott. Though I might not have boicotted anyway – its a movie and they’ve worked hard on it. Forget the author, enjoy the movie. the despiccable opinions of the author arent really reflected in the movie (if it was I probably would have boicotted it, and lemmed the book at an early stage). Though I wish he could die so we wouldnt need to worry about this issue. Which is probably a horrible thing to say, but there ya have it.

  20. SubSumeYou says:

    I’m not anti-homosexual and I’m not anti-Card and I’ve already seen Ender’s Game and I intend to see it once more. There was nothing hokey and camp about it and nothing that echoed anything of that vile Paul Verhoeven’s loose adaptation of Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers.

    Every actor in Ender’s Game had enough character and depth to carry the story. I understand about the lament over the movie not getting everything from the source material, but I think the right decision was made to focus SOLELY on Andrew’s situation.

  21. Mark says:

    Card doesn’t just hate gays and lesbians, he gives significant portions of his income to groups that actively fight against any progress for LGBT equality. In some countries, that support has funded groups that target the LGBT community for violence. Having a medieval attitude towards others who are not like you is one thing, but helping to fund groups that actively seek to make life worse for them is just evil. It’s all about intent. So no, no money for Card from me, no matter what that takes.