How does Ender’s Game author Orson Scott Card respond to the criticism he’s received over his stance on same-sex marriage — namely, his overt, vehement opposition to it?
Simple: He doesn’t think he’s been fairly criticized in the first place.
“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 told Salt Lake City’s Deseret News on Sunday. “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,” he continued. “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.”
Card also believes he’s only under fire because of the imminent release of Summit’s big-screen Ender adaptation. “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,” the Hugo Award winner said.
And ultimately, according to Card, the controversy may be a net positive for him: “[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.” (It’s worth noting, though, that Card reportedly will not receive a percentage of Ender‘s gross or any additional money if the film hits certain box-office milestones, according to The Wrap; those who oppose Card are advised to boycott his books instead of the movie.)
The Ender’s Game film team has been careful to distance itself from Card and his anti-gay views. “The book is a fantastic book full of wonderful themes like compassion and tolerance and I am distressed by Orson’s position on gay marriage,” director Gavin Hood told EW at the movie’s premiere Monday. “I hold the opposite view. But I loved the book. … Would I prefer to be doing a movie without controversy? Yes, but I’m not in the least distressed that we are having this conversation. It is a very important conversation. It’s just odd that our film, which is all about tolerance, has to be used to counter the author.”
Ender’s Game hits theaters Nov. 1. When contacted by EW, Card had no comment.