Tomorrow, or tonight at midnight, if you’re that big a fan, the movie of “Ender’s Game” will come out. What you might not know is that there has been a grassroots movement, spearheaded by the folks at Geeks Out, to “Skip Ender’s Game.” I know a lot of people who have had questions and concerns about the reasons to boycott the movie, along with people who have no idea why anyone should boycott the movie. So, I sat down with one of the founding members of Geeks Out for a chat about the movie and the boycott.
1) So, what’s Geeks Out?
Geeks OUT is the nonprofit social organization we founded in 2010; we’re dedicated to empowering, rallying, and promoting the queer geek community. We hold awesome monthly gatherings in NYC with growing chapters in other cities, including Chicago and Dallas, and host geeksout.org, featuring original articles and reviews, queer and/or geek content, and events.
2) What is Skip Ender’s Game?
Skip Ender’s Game is our yearlong campaign to keep our community’s money out of the hands of notorious antigay activist and sci-fi author Orson Scott Card, author of the novel and a credited producer on Ender’s Game, opening Nov. 1.
3) Why skip THIS movie? Aren’t there other homophobes out there? Mel Gibson is still working.
This is a clear-cut case where our community should not financially reward one of its most vocal and well connected antagonists. (Author’s note. Unlike people like Mel Gibson, who just go on weird rants against their favorite minority, Card was an active board member of the National Organization for Marriage, a very active group opposing marriage equality.)
4) I’ve heard plenty of people say something along the lines of “Ender’s Game was my favorite book, growing up. It affected me so profoundly, and I’ve been waiting for it to be made into a movie all of my life!! I don’t want to not see it!” What is your response to those fans?
That’s fair, lots of people remember the book fondly. We’re asking people to make what could be a difficult, considered choice between nostalgia for a favorite book and actual, real-life LGBT Americans whose rights are limited by activists like Card. There are ways to experience the content of Ender’s Game that don’t financially benefit Card, such as waiting for the movie on cable or a non-paid streaming service, or to borrow the DVD from a library.
5) “What if I donate equal money to an LGBT cause/pirate the movie/buy a ticket to something else and sneak in?”
Why not donate that money anyway and not give some to a homophobe?
6) A lot of people who are involved in making the movie are pro-LGBT. Won’t boycotting the movie hurt them in the long run?
No. Creative professionals are paid for their work at the time they perform it. Very, very few individuals—producers, backers, studio executives, big names with back-end points—participate in the sort of profits that actual box office receipts generate. This isn’t taking money out of the cast or crews’ hands.
7) What can I do, besides not go see the movie?
Raise awareness, spread the facts, make thoughtful decisions about where your queer dollars go and what they support.
8) Did you expect Skip Ender’s Game to garnish as much media attention as it has? What were your expectations going into it?
We knew we’d strike a chord, but the degree to which the queer geek community and our allies in the larger queer and geek worlds have rallied to this cause is so galvanizing. We’ve collected over 11,000 signatures on our Skip Ender’s Game pledge and have more than half a dozen events planned on November 1, to give the queer geek community something better to do than go see this movie and give Orson Scott Card our money.
9) Do you think Hollywood has listened to what you and your supporters have been saying?
I think the geek community has never been more attractive and profitable to content generators like movie studios and publishers. Demonstrating that we can decide between our fandom and our principles when forced to is a powerful gesture and I think Hollywood is watching very, very closely.
10) Do you see Skip Ender’s Game being culturally relevant after the movie has come out?
Yep, facts are facts and most nerds have a healthy respect for the truth. What’s been most gratifying is watching a young community like ours is recognize its relevance and significance in the larger pop culture conversation and marketplace. Geekery drove the highest-grossing films of the past several years; the country’s biggest hit on tv is a show about zombies; a video game made more money in its opening weekend than every book published this year combined, even as the Game of Thrones books have revolutionized publishing in much the same way the Harry Potter books did a decade ago.
So, from here, I hope that you have a little bit more information about what’s going on regarding this movie. Are you planning on skipping the movie? Sound off in the comments below.