This story, about Orson Scott Card signing on with DC Comics to be a recurring guest writer for a Superman comics series, was one of those posts that I kept putting off writing because I was sure that the story was going to develop. When it first struck my interest, it was just that many comic book stores were planning to boycott that specific title. Later, I read that the series lost its artist over the controversy. More recently, DC announced that it had put the project on hold.
This is good news.
I should explain, in case you’re wondering: “Who is Orson Scott Card?” or, better yet: “Wasn’t he that nice man who wrote Ender’s Game?”
Orson Scott Card is a writer. I really enjoyed reading Ender’s Game—as a ten-year-old, it was nice to read a book about a young, intelligent protagonist. The writer had clearly put a lot of thought into how young, highly intelligent children thought.
OSC is also a Mormon, and well-known for his strong anti-gay political views. Now, I once read an article suggesting that no one should avoid OSC’s work for his political commentary and activism, because he is a Mormon, and that opposition to gay rights (including marriage equality) has long been a part of LDS policy. Basically, the writer (of an article which I read years ago and was unable to relocate) said: “His religion is anti-gay, so if you’re going to avoid him for sharing that view, you should avoid everyone of his religion, which would be impractical.”
Guys, that’s nonsense. For one thing, I’ve had Mormon friends who are totally fine with gay rights, and who support marriage equality. Similarly, I’ve had Catholic friends whose views on gays and gay marriage are totally at odds with the Vatican’s (and they’re not isolated exceptions—more than half of US Catholics support the legalization of same-sex marriage).
There is a difference between being a part of an organized religion and holding all of the same beliefs—particularly social and political beliefs. There is also a difference between holding a belief and being a vocal commentator on the subject. Now, if you do hold a belief (such as a stance regarding marriage equality) and use whatever status or spotlight that you acquire to speak on it, do not be surprised if your views impact your financial ventures.
Personally, I’d rather watch five of my dollars burn than give a business like Chick-fil-A one red cent. That’s my right and my choice. I no longer purchase anything from Papa John’s or Domino’s because of their oppositions to Obamacare (narrowing all of my non-grocery store pizza purchases to Pizza Hut). I do not give money to the Boy Scouts and I will not make any purchase that might lead to Orson Scott Card making a profit.
While OSC has always been wrong, morally, on the issue of gay rights, the tide of public opinion in the US is now turning against him. A DC Comics project shelved because his involvement was too controversial. Enders Game is getting a theatrical release, but some of the film’s producers do not want OSC involved in the film’s promotion, concerned that his involvement would be the touch of death to ticket sales.
I know that, no matter how much I loved the novel a decade and a half ago, I will certainly not be seeing the film—until it becomes available for me to view, for free.
Thank you, DC Comics, for putting your OSC project on hold. Let’s keep it that way. I have no doubt that Superman would approve.