NEW YORK CITY, March 12, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – After pro-homosexual activists promoted an online petition demanding the firing of award-winning speculative fiction writer Orson Scott Card from an upcoming Superman comic anthology, DC Comics confirmed that Card’s portion of the project has been shelved indefinitely.
Card, who is Mormon, sits on the board of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and has been outspoken about his opposition to redefining marriage to include same-sex couples.
In an opinion piece for the Mormon Times, he wrote, “Marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down.”
In another commentary for Sunstone Magazine, he wrote, “[G]ay activism as a movement is no longer looking for civil rights, which by and large homosexuals already have. Rather they are seeking to enforce acceptance of their sexual liaisons as having equal validity with heterosexual marriages, to the point of having legal rights as spouses, the right to adopt children, and the right to insist that their behavior be taught to children in public schools as a completely acceptable ‘alternative lifestyle.’”
“It does not take a homophobe to recognize how destructive such a program will be in a society already reeling from the terrible consequences of ‘no-fault’ divorce, social tolerance of extramarital promiscuity, and failing to protect our adolescents until they can channel their sexual passions in a socially productive way,” Card continued. “Having already lost control of the car, we now find the gay activists screaming at us to speed up as we drive headlong toward the cliff.”
Homosexual activists said his views should have disqualified him from being hired in the first place. While his Superman short story was not expected to touch on gay issues, activists argued that to give him a paycheck for his work was tantamount to funding NOM directly.
The petition demanding his firing said, “To DC Comics: By hiring Orson Scott Card despite his anti-gay efforts you are giving him a new platform and supporting his hate. Make sure your brand stands for equality and drop Orson Scott Card now.”
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DC’s decision to shelve Card’s portion of the project came after illustrator Chris Sprouse backed out of doing the art for Card’s short story under heavy pressure from gay advocates and the media. “The media surrounding this story reached the point where it took away from the actual work, and that’s something I wasn’t comfortable with,” Sprouse said.
In a statement, DC Comics said the company “fully supports, understands and respects” Sprouse’s decision to abandon the project. They said they would “re-solicit the story at a later date when a new artist is hired.” However, most industry insiders speculate that DC will be in no rush to replace Sprouse as an artist, allowing them to let Card’s story die a quiet death without actually firing him and opening themselves up to a discrimination lawsuit. (It is illegal in the state of New York to fire an employee for his religious beliefs.)
Homosexual outcry over Card’s views is expected to reach a fever pitch in the coming year as the film version of his classic 1985 novel “Ender’s Game” is released.
The move toward blacklisting writers who fail to support homosexual causes has caused some controversy in speculative and licensed fiction circles. While many in the publishing industry support same-sex “marriage,” some say they are uncomfortable with the idea of banning opposing thought outright.
“I think it is dangerous to support any blacklist of any creative for any reason,” John Ordover, former editor of the Star Trek series at Pocket Books and open supporter of gay marriage, wrote on his Facebook page. “It's validating the entire concept of blacklists. To oppose blacklists, we have to stand against blacklisting those whose opinions we find abhorrent as well as those we agree with.” Ordover, who now owns and operates the SoHo Gallery for Digital Art, is hosting a roundtable debate on the issue at the gallery on April 10, called “Superman vs. Orson Scott Card.”
Scott M. Roberts, assistant editor at Card’s own “Intergalactic Medicine Show” online magazine, also took to Facebook to voice his concerns over the apparent blacklisting, but his concerns were much wider than just this single incident’s effect on his boss.
Roberts said the obsession with political correctness is ruining the genre by banning entire points of view from existence in fictional universes, making for bland, repetitive storytelling. “This is a plea for the speculative fiction community to stop obsessing over race, sexuality, gender, and political affiliation and which author (and which characters) are on the right side of the dividing line between moral bankruptcy and sainthood,” Roberts wrote.
“The obsession with correct political belief and expression in art is stultifying the genre as it is necessarily exclusive. We are losing our voice in artificial, forced homogeny posing as tolerance. Propaganda-disguised-as-story drives readers away as agenda takes the place of wonder, excitement, character, and conflict.”
Brad Torgersen, award-winning speculative fiction author, built on Roberts’s Facebook musings in a blog post, saying, “Science fiction is supposedly the ‘dangerous’ genre, but I’ve found this to be a largely toothless claim, based on past glory. Science fiction in the 21st century doesn’t want to be dangerous. Science fiction wants to be safe – at any speed … let any author or editor fall foul of the signposted sins – ist and ism — and it’s a cause for significant outrage. How dare someone let a scoundrel into our beloved genre!? Someone fetch the smelling salts! Vapors! Gnashing of teeth!”
Added Torgersen, “The quest for tolerance has led us down a very odd road where the proper enacting of tolerance is to be, well, intolerant. To not tolerate the ‘intolerable’ according to trendy or arbitrary or otherwise assigned values of correctness: correct thought, correct speech, correct action. Not only must the stories themselves hew to this rigid correctness calculus, authors themselves must hew to this rigid correctness calculus.”
“There is no room in 21st century science fiction for real people,” Torgersen alleged, “(b)ecause sooner or later the ist and the ism are exposed — both real and, as often as not, imagined — and the evil-doer is punished and/or cast out.”
Whether Card will be punished and/or cast out from the November release of the long-awaited film adaptation of his best-known work, “Ender’s Game,” remains to be seen. The Hollywood Reporter says executives at Summit are dithering over whether or not to include him in the summer’s main fan gathering and press junket, San Diego Comic-Con.
“I don't think you take him to any fanboy event,” said one unnamed studio executive. “This will definitely take away from their creative and their property.” Another insider said the same: “Keep him out of the limelight as much as possible.”