Card has long been openly critical of same-sex sexual relations and of same-sex marriage, and has even written several articles on the subject. As far back as 1990, he called for anti-sodomy laws in individual states to remain on the books, and in 2004, said that most homosexuals are self-loathing victims of child abuse.
Because of his staunch and unapologetic anti-gay views, friends of the LGBT community have proposed a boycott of the film Ender’s Game, which is based on a novel that Card wrote. An online petition calling on audiences to stay home has over 11,000 signatures. “Do not let your box-office dollars fuel his anti-gay agenda,” it says.
There are a few problems here. One, Card has already made his money on Ender’s Game. The novel on which the film is based is already one of the best-selling sci-fi novels of all time. So, taking your anger with the author out on the box office won’t hurt him at all, since he doesn’t stand to make any money off ticket sales.
Two, following that logic that any press is good press, Card said that bringing attention to his work will only increase his sales in the end.
“[The criticism] won’t affect my work,” Card told the Deseret News. “Will it affect the reception of my work? Of course, but not in ways that they expect. My sales go up with such attacks.”
Additionally, Card said that there’s a difference between criticism of his character and criticism of his work. He has received the former.
“I’ve had no criticism. I’ve had savage, lying, deceptive personal attacks, but no actual criticism because they’ve never addressed any of my actual ideas,” he said. “Character assassination seems to be the only political method that is in use today, and I don’t play that game, and you can’t defend against it. All you can do is try to offer ideas, and for those who want to listen to ideas, great. For those who simply want to punish you for not falling in line with their dogmas, there’s really not much you can do about it.”
Cast and crew-members of the film, including Harrison Ford, have distanced themselves from Card’s anti-gay views, but said that the film does not contain an anti-gay message.
Some of Card’s gay fans aren’t buying into the boycott, either.
“Being gay doesn’t define me,” one fan wrote on the Skip Ender’s Game Facebook page. “His work is worth admiring. His personal beliefs not so much. Either way, as a member of the LGBT community I will be there Nov. 1 to watch one of my favorite books come to life in theaters.”