The big new release this week is Ender’s Game - a smart, thoughtful sci-fi movie. It’s courted controversy because of the opinions of the writer whose novel it is based on. But why should his views have any bearing on what we think of the film?

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  • Comment number 55. Posted by bob merrison

    on 8 Nov 2013 16:28

    Thoroughly enjoyed this and Capt. Philips a couple of weeks ago, but both screenings were somewhat marred by the fact that the house lights did not did dim completely. I saw both films at different cinemas in different towns and I found it somewhat distracting as both films have some very dark sequences during which I was able to see the white of the screen due to the theatre not being dark enough, is this a new lighting safety requirement that means we cannot see a film as the makers intended?

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  • Comment number 54. Posted by D_A_I_S_Y

    on 6 Nov 2013 01:10

    I don't know if you can really say that anyone 'should' or 'shouldn't' judge a film by its associations, even though they might be tenuous. The issue that people seem to have here is that money from the film's audience will be going to the author that he can use against some of those people who are paying to watch it. This is quite specific to this particular film and the book's author. Plus the only way to judge a film on its own merits is to pay to see it. I didn't have a clue about any of this, watched 'Ender's Game', thought it was very bad. Can you get a refund from a cinema ticket if you don't like the product???

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  • Comment number 53. Posted by Mendo Shutaro

    on 30 Oct 2013 08:34

    Another point to add, in the original book, the enemies were called 'buggers'. I wonder what Scott Card could have meant when he came up with that...

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  • Comment number 52. Posted by Mendo Shutaro

    on 30 Oct 2013 08:30

    Scott Card is a deeply unpleasant person, not just a vicious homophobe (he believes gay people belong in jail), but also an anti-science climate change denier.

    For me the end product is very much attached to how it was made. I could buy a piece of chicken and not care if the chicken, while it was alive, was kept in a tiny cage and was unable to move. I care about that, so I buy free range.

    The same with movies. If the author and/or director are people who have deeply unpleasant views, then was I to see their film they would be receive in payment some of my money.

    The only power we have is to vote with our wallets, and I don't want Scott Card to get a single penny from me.

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  • Comment number 51. Posted by information1st

    on 29 Oct 2013 19:43

    @ 40. KamiTheGamer
    @ 44. Stevo the Magnificent

    Thank you for your common sense. My advice to the political pro-LGBT is not to mix entertainment with politics just as it seems this author does mixing politics with religion or pseudo-science. If truth is on your side, it can't be stopped only delayed.

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  • Comment number 50. Posted by Sebastian Morden

    on 29 Oct 2013 11:46

    As a gay man, I can only repeat what's been posted before. Card has the right to his bigoted opinions, as does everyone, and everyone has the good right to decide whether or not to go see this film (obviously knowing that if you do pay to see it, some of your money will go directly to Card, and he will more than likely use some of those proceeds to help fund anti-gay organisations that he already supports -- you can't sidestep this, so please be aware that you will be funding these organisations indirectly).

    I don't want to ban or censor anything -- I grew up in 80s and 90s Germany where an enormous amount of films and videogames were banned and censored and I will always speak against censorship (however, calling for a boycott is calling for people to freely make a personal decision, calling for a ban is calling for someone to make the decision for everybody; they are not the same thing, and I am happy to live in a country where I am free to boycott what I choose) -- if you want to see it, go see it, and I hope you enjoy it and have a good time. I mean that.

    I am, however, making the personal choice (that, to reiterate, and by definition, I do not want to push on anyone else) to boycott Ender's Game, as are most of my friends, because I know that a portion of the profit the film rakes in will line Card's pockets. I have no interest in giving him my money. Even if I had some sort of written guarantee that he wouldn't use the money to fund anti-LGBT organisations, I still don't particularly feel like giving my money to someone who considers me dirt under his shoes -- why would I? Why would anyone?

    There are enough movies out in cinemas right now and thousands available on DVD that I can watch and enjoy instead, and I don't think skipping one makes me any less of a film lover.

    Dr. K., as much as it pains me to say it -- as I agree with you on pretty much everything and admire you more than any other person in the world (not hyperbole, actually true, ask anyone who knows me) -- you're off the mark on this one. It's about funding anti-LGBT organisations, not tolerating the writer. You're usually one of the most enlightened broadcasting voices about LGBT issues, so this video was a bit of a disappointment. As others have posted, you're asking the wrong question. It shouldn't be "do we decide on whether to go see this movie based on what the writer thinks?", it should be, "can we morally reconcile indirectly supporting anti-LGBT organisations by paying to see a movie?"

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  • Comment number 49. Posted by Emma

    on 29 Oct 2013 11:07

    Firstly, as a writer and producer Card is going to get a percentage of the profits. Based on previous behaviour, it seems highly likely that some of the money he makes will be donated to homophobic organisations that actively work against people like me. I don't want to support that and I don't want to support him. This isn't a ban, this is a boycott. Freedom of speech doesn't protect you from the consequences, he is allowed to hold those views and I'm allowed to reject him because of them.

    Also, it's not just a question of this film, if it's successful the sequels will be made and more of his books will probably be optioned. I would prefer that not to happen, no matter how good some of them are. He doesn't need anymore money.

    Secondly, he taints it for me. His views actively effect my enjoyment of his work and unfortunately I think they'd effect my enjoyment of the film. Some people can divorce themselves from their personal feelings when costuming media, others can't. I am not going to pay money to a man whose views are abhorrent to watch a film he prevents me from fully enjoying.

    Also what differentiates him from other film-makers who have done terrible things or hold terrible views, what potentially makes him worse is that he puts his money where his mouth is. Connery has expressed support for domestic violence but he doesn't donate money to pro-domestic abuse organisations. Similar things can be said about Polanski or Mel Gibson. Card combines offensive views with offensive actions.

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  • Comment number 48. Posted by Stevo the Magnificent

    on 29 Oct 2013 08:40

    Neil and Karatanthala, fair enough, we may disagree but nice we don't have to be disagreeable with each other... peace and love!

    Mind you, I just had a thought; if you REALLY want people to not see 'Ender's Game' then just tell 'em it's from the same guy who directed 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine'... that should have them fleeing like it's the plague!!!

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  • Comment number 47. Posted by Karatanthala

    on 29 Oct 2013 07:28

    Stevo

    People chose to boycott The Golden Compass as a result of a similar campaign to the one currently running to boycott Enders Game (to be honest I hadn't realised there was any anti religion bias in the The Golden Compass until then).

    As long as we can can raise issues like this, and point out what impact supporting this or that can have, then the world will be a better place.

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  • Comment number 46. Posted by Neil_Mungeam

    on 29 Oct 2013 04:54

    Stevo

    The freedom to say something and the freedom to donate money to a cause is not the same as the freedom to do so without consequences. Freedom of speech means that Card is perfectly entitled to say whatever he likes and I and other "so called liberals" are perfectly entitled to attack him for it.

    Denouncing someone for their views, refusing to put money in their pocket and encouraging others to do likewise is not an attack on their freedom of speech. It is an exercise of my own.

    Boycotts are not an attack on freedom of speech. Bans and censorship are.

    The problem is that the religious right is so entitled and used to special treatment it thinks it can say and do whatever it likes and then crys about its free speech whenever people retaliate.

    You are of course projecting. At no point have I said people should be "stopped" from seeing the film.

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