The studio tries to stop the controversy about Orson Scott Card's same-sex marriage views six days before previewing the movie to fans at Comic-Con.
Lionsgate called Ender's Game author Orson Scott Card's anti-same-sex marriage views "completely irrelevant" to the forthcoming big-budget movie version of the hit book.
A gay rights-oriented sci-fi and pop culture group called Geeks Out organized an online effort to get fans to boycott the movie because of Scott's views.
Card's views had become an issue in February when he signed on to write a Superman comic for DC. He later dropped out amid the furor on his views.
Now Lionsgate is stepping in to quell the controversy less than a week before it is scheduled to promote the movie at Comic-Con.
The studio had already announced that Card would not appear at the Hall H panel for the movie, which will feature stars Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, director Gavin Hood and producer Bob Orci.
Lionsgate calls itself "proud longtime supporters of the LGBT community" and that 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 simple fact is that neither the underlying book nor the film itself reflect these views in any way, shape or form. On the contrary, the film not only transports viewers to an entertaining and action-filled world, but it does so with positive and inspiring characters who ultimately deliver an ennobling and life-affirming message."
The statement ends with Lionsgate reaffirming its commitment to the LGBT community.
On July 8, Card tried to pre-empt criticism by issuing a statement to Entertainment Weekly saying the book had nothing to do with his political views and asking for "tolerance" from same-sex marriage supporters 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."
See Lionsgate's full statement:
“As proud longtime supporters of the LGBT community, champions of films ranging from GODS AND MONSTERS to THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER and a Company that is proud to have recognized same-sex unions and domestic partnerships within its employee benefits policies for many years, we obviously do not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card and those of the National Organization for Marriage. However, they are completely irrelevant to a discussion of ENDER’S GAME. The simple fact is that neither the underlying book nor the film itself reflect these views in any way, shape or form. On the contrary, the film not only transports viewers to an entertaining and action-filled world, but it does so with positive and inspiring characters who ultimately deliver an ennobling and life-affirming message. Lionsgate will continue its longstanding commitment to the LGBT community by exploring new ways we can support LGBT causes and, as part of this ongoing process, will host a benefit premiere for ENDER’S GAME."