'Ender's Game' Director: Author's Anti-Gay Views 'Very Sad'

In an interview with The Advocate, Gavin Hood says writer Orson Scott Card positions are "really at odds with his art."
"Ender's Game"
In an interview with The Advocate, Gavin Hood says writer Orson Scott Card positions are "really at odds with his art."

Ender's Game director Gavin Hood is addressing the controversy surrounding his upcoming sci-fi film head on.

In an interview with The Advocate, Hood said the anti-gay views of Orson Scott Card are "dreadfully ironic" given the themes of his novel, on which Hood's film is based.

"Orson wrote a book about compassion, and empathy, and yet he himself is struggling to see that his position in real life is really at odds with his art," Hood told the LGBT-focused magazine.

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Lionsgate's Ender's Game has been controversial because of Card, who has opposed same-sex marriage and other gay rights. The group Geek Out is calling for a boycott of the film.

Hood said he understood the spirit of the boycott but asked critics to engage in a full discussion rather than writing off the film.

“The story of Ender is really a young person in search of his identity and in search of his own moral compass,” Hood told The Advocate. “It is so ironic that the writer of the work that has helped so many [young] people, gay and straight, to find empowerment, to feel empowered, to find their own moral compass — it’s very sad that he, himself, is struggling with these issues."

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Lionsgate has distanced itself from Card. In a statement earlier this month, Lionsgate called itself "proud longtime supporters of the LGBT community" and said it does "not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card and those of the National Organization for Marriage" (the anti-same-sex marriage organization associated with Card). The studio plans to hold a screening of Ender's Game to benefit the LGBT community.

On July 8, Card addressed criticism of his views, issuing a statement to Entertainment Weekly saying the novel was unrelated to his personal views. He asked for "tolerance" from supporters of same-sex marriage because "with the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot."

He added, "It will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute."

Ender's Game hits theaters Nov. 1. It stars Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld and Abigail Breslin.

E-mail: Aaron.Couch@THR.com
Twitter: @AaronCouch