Black and Gallagher on Same Side of "Ender’s Game" Debate - sort of
In a case of boycotts making strange bedfellows, Oscar winner and gay activist Dustin Lance Black and National Organization for Marriage co-founder and anti-gay activist Maggie Gallagher have found themselves on the same side of an issue surrounding a proposed boycott by LGBT groups of the upcoming $110 million film version of the best selling 1985 science fiction novel "Enders Game," due to its author Orson Scott Card's vocal opposition to same-sex marriage and long history of homophobia.
As reported in the New York Times, not every advocate of gay equality and same-sex marriage is convinced that turning away from "Ender's Game," is the best way to counter Mr. Card. "No way am I boycotting," said Dustin Lance Black, who in 2009 won an Oscar for writing "Milk," about the gay activist Harvey Milk, and who campaigned against California's Proposition 8, which sought to ban gay marriage. Speaking from London on Wednesday, Mr. Black - who, like Mr. Card, comes from a Mormon family - said he would rather engage with, than shut out, political and cultural adversaries. "We haven't been getting the numbers we've seen by disengaging," Mr. Black said, referring to a rise in public acceptance of same-sex marriage and other measures of gay equality.
In a less surprising move, National Organization for Marriage co-founder Maggie Gallagher has also criticized the boycott in a recent blog post on conservative news outlet National Review Online, stating "It seems very strange to me that so many artists and people on the left are supporting the idea that to make art in the mainstream you have to have the right political opinions."
Ironically, Ms. Gallagher, who sharply criticized former GOP presidential hopeful, Senator Ron Paul (R Texas) for his refusal to sign NOM's 2010 candidate pledge for a federal marriage amendment, is condemning the boycott on historical moral grounds, stating "This used to be considered the heart of McCarthyism: loyalty oaths for filmmakers as the condition for working in the film industry. (These were imposed by the industry, not the government, remember, in response to public pressure)."
"Ender's Game" author Orson Scott Card, who once called homosexuality "a reproductive dysfunction born of choice" resigned his position on NOM's board earlier this year, coincidentally after a firestorm of backlash from LGBT activists and comic enthusiasts against DC Comics for hiring him to pen a chapter of a new Superman anthology series. He has since softened his stance on marriage equality in a recent statement to made to Entertainment Weekly, "with the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot."
Lionsgate, producers of the $110 million epic starring Harrison Ford addressed the "Ender's Game" boycott yesterday in the following statement
"As proud longtime supporters of the LGBT community, champions of films ranging from "Gods and Monsters" to "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" and a company that is proud to have recognized same-sex unions and domestic partnerships within its employee benefits policies for many years, we obviously do not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card and those of the National Organization for Marriage," Lionsgate wrote in a statement. The studio pledged to host a benefit premiere for "Ender's Game" supporting LGBT causes.
Skeptical of the planned "Ender's Game" boycott, Gallagher, the Rubenesque former president of NOM which publically boycotted General Mills and Starbucks for their support of same-sex marriage, further stated on her blog, "I suspect this boycott will be a failure, like the boycott of Card's video game and like the Chick-fil-A boycott, because most of the public is more concerned with questions such as whether those waffle fries are banging or not."
Good luck sneaking those fries into the movies, Maggie.