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Orson Scott Card on controversy and 'Ender's Game': 'I’ve had no criticism. I’ve had ... personal attacks'

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 4 2015 9:57 a.m. MDT

In an interview with KSLs Carole Mikita on the In an interview with KSLs Carole Mikita on the "Deseret News Sunday Edition," famed science-fiction writer Orson Scott Card talks about the controversy concerning the film adaptation of his novel, "Ender's Game." (Screenshot YouTube)

In an interview with KSL anchor and reporter Carole Mikita on the "Deseret News Sunday Edition," famed science-fiction writer Orson Scott Card talked about the controversy some of his earlier statements are stirring up prior to the release of the film adaptation of his novel “Ender’s Game.”

In early July, some in the LGBT community started a movement called “Skip Ender’s Game,” which aims to boycott the film in protest of Card’s remarks against same-sex marriage.

“The only reason I’m being attacked for it is because ‘Ender’s Game’ is coming out as a movie, so that was something that was going to get a lot of publicity for the people attacking,” Card said in his interview with Mikita.

In an interview with KSL's Carole Mikita on In an interview with KSL's Carole Mikita on "Deseret News Sunday Edition," famed science-fiction writer Orson Scott Card talks about the controversy concerning the film adaptation of his novel "Ender's Game." (Deseret News)

Card continued by saying that he is open to discussing ideas, but that the comments he has received only attack his character.

“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,” Card 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.”

Those involved and associated with the “Ender’s Game” film have been careful to separate themselves from Card’s views regarding same-sex marriage.

In an interview with KSL's Carole Mikita on In an interview with KSL's Carole Mikita on "Deseret News Sunday Edition," famed science-fiction writer Orson Scott Card talks about the controversy concerning the film adaptation of his novel "Ender's Game." (Deseret News)

“None of Mr. Card’s concerns regarding the issue of gay marriage are part of the thematics of this film,” actor Harrison Ford said at the San Diego Comic-Con in July. “He has written something that I think is of value to us all [in] considering our moral responsibilities. I think his views outside of those that we deal with in this film are not an issue for me to deal with, so I have really no opinion on that issue. And I am aware of his statements admitting that the question of gay marriage is a battle that he lost, and he admits that he lost it.”

More than 11,000 people signed an online petition to “skip ‘Ender’s Game.’ ” Still, others say they plan to see the movie despite disagreeing with Card’s personal views.

“Being gay doesn't define me. His work is worth admiring. His personal beliefs not so much,” wrote Luis Morales, a commenter on the Skip Ender’s Game Facebook page. “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.”

Looking forward, Card said the negative reception of his beliefs will affect how some people will receive his work in the future.

“[The criticism] won’t affect my work,” Card said. “Will it affect the reception of my work? Of course, but not in ways that they expect. My sales go up with such attacks.”

Abby Stevens is a writer for the DeseretNews.com Faith and Family sections. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University–Idaho. Contact her at astevens@deseretdigital.com.

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