Fascinating article by Steven Lloyd Wilson and appearing on Salon.com concerning his views of author Orson Scott Card, until recently best known for the novel (and soon to be released movie adaptation of same) Ender’s Game:
For those who choose to skip the article (it is interesting, however, and I highly recommend giving it a read!), Orson Scott Card has gotten himself in more than a little hot water of late because of his apparent very vocal dislike of homosexuality and the concept of gay marriage (Some would call it outright homophobia). For years now I’ve heard vague rumors about the various comments he made at different science fiction conventions…and what was once only vague rumors grew and grew until it was pretty clear what Mr. Card’s opinions regarding homosexuality were.
The issue regarding the author’s opinions reached something of a peak when it was announced DC Comics had hired Mr. Card to write a Superman story. To be blunt, comic book fans were aghast at the notion that he could be hired to write a character whose essence is protecting the oppressed. How could Superman, such a shining symbol of all that’s good, be written by someone whose opinions were so terribly ugly? Soon enough the controversy reached a boiling point and several comic book shops refused to stock Mr. Card’s upcoming Superman book. The heat only grew from there and eventually the artist assigned to the project dropped out. Now it appears DC Comics has nixed the story’s publication entirely.
Unfortunately, just before this controversy became so public, an Ender’s Game film was greenlit and subsequently made. It is scheduled for release later this year and, if I were one of the investors or on the staff of the studios behind it, I’d be more than a little worried. If potential audiences had such a negative reaction to Mr. Card’s involvement in Superman, how will they react when the Ender’s Game movie is released in November?
Years ago I realized that sometimes you separate the artist from their art. The book/movie/film/painting/tv show you may absolutely love might be the work of someone who, should you encounter them at any sort of social function, might find repugnant. I’ve been able to separate the artist from the art but only because usually these “repugnant” attributes were within the sphere of the individual themselves. Perhaps they were alcoholics or heavy drug users. Perhaps they were arrogant loudmouths. Maybe they were just plain nasty.
But in the case of Mr. Card, I find his attitudes are such that they do effectively blurring my ability to separate the artist and his art. Granted, I was never a big fan of Mr. Card’s fiction. I read Ender’s Game a while back and thought it was a good read but not the great read so many felt it was. But if I were a fan of his works, I might well have second thoughts about buying his material.
Of course, this is just my opinion. To those like Mr. Wilson who wrote the above article, its clear they love Orson Scott Card’s work but find the man behind it troublesome, to say the least. To them, I can only offer my sympathies. It’s tough to enjoy the works of someone you can’t stomach.