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Sci-Fi Entertainment

Orson Scott Card's Superman Story Shelved After Homophobia Controversy 1174 1174

An anonymous reader writes "A controversy has been brewing in the comic community for the past month. Orson Scott Card, author of Ender's Game and its many sequels, was tapped to write a story for the new Adventures of Superman comic. The controversy arose because Card has become an outspoken opponent of gay marriage, going so far as to say giving it legal recognition could mark 'the end of democracy in America,' and suggesting 'traditional' married people will eventually have to overthrow the government. Many fans of the series objected, and some retailers decided they wouldn't stock the issue Card's story appears in. Now, the illustrator for Card's story, Chris Sprouse, has walked away from the project, saying he wasn't comfortable with the media surrounding the story. Because of that, Card's story is being replaced in the Adventures of Superman anthology. 'The news has inspired speculation about whether or not this could mean that DC will quietly kill off the controversial Card story entirely, with some suggesting that the story remaining un-illustrated gives the publisher an "out" to avoid any potential breach-of-contract legal response.' Personally, I'm not sure what to think about this. I enjoyed Ender's Game as a kid, and it tarnishes the experience a little to know that its authors can say such hateful things. On the other hand, Card seems to have kept his personal views out of his fiction, and it's unlikely DC would let him put those views into a Superman comic even if he wanted to. It's a free country; people are free to believe stupid things. On the third hand, he is actively advocating his views outside his fiction, and what better way is there for readers to fight back than organizing a boycott and voting with their wallets? What do you think, Slashdot?"
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Orson Scott Card's Superman Story Shelved After Homophobia Controversy

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  • An Old Discussion (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:33PM (#43085669) Journal

    On the other hand, Card seems to have kept his personal views out of his fiction,

    Well, I can think of four or five times this has come up on Slashdot. Here's one [] and another []. And from that comment by MozeeToby:

    It isn't so much about 'preachy-ness' as it is about 'propaganda-ness'. In the Shadow series, for instance, we have the homosexual character of Anton. He is not in any way evil, Card doesn't ask us to fear or hate him as you might expect from a right wing writer.

    Instead (and arguably worse), when we are first introduced to Anton we are asked to pity him. He is given a ludicrously strong cognitive dissonance to ham handedly symbolize the dissonance that Card assumes the man must have because of his lifestyle. He is utterly lonely and unhappy, and it is heavily implied that he has considered suicide as the only option to end his suffering.

    Later in the story, Anton has *gasp* married. No, not to a man, but to a woman. In fact he is going to be a father. He is happy, talkative, and engaging. He mentions in passing that his homosexual tendancies have made his marriage harder but that with work they are able to get through it and live a full and happy life.

    In my opinion, this is a more disgusting attack on gay rights than any violent diatrabe could ever be.

    That probably bears repeating to address your "keeps it out of his fiction" comment.

    Frankly, I've given up on Card. I've been chided about this very issue before on Slashdot [] (several times actually) but I stand by my opinion: You're free to say or believe in anything you want. But if you're an actor, author, musician, developer, athlete or any profession that tries to use their own popularity to further a belief or statement that I find reprehensible, I will actively and vocally make it known that I will no longer patronize you with funds or admiration.

    I wish him the best of luck as one human being to another but I will not spend one more cent to him if he's going to use his position as an author to vocally oppose two people of the same sex who are in love with each other. If you think I'm wrong in doing this, then ask yourself this simple question: Would he have such a large podium if he wasn't a renowned author? The answer is: No, he would just be another raving lunatic. So I'm no longer giving him the reverence or publicity that a world renowned author should have.

    Boggles my goddamned mind that he could write wonderful novels decrying xenocide and turn around and say such crap. Once again the power of religion blasts the doors right off of any sensible logic.

  • by subanark (937286) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:34PM (#43085691)

    I'm for gay rights. I like Card's stories. I would be fine if he wrote a story that pushed an anti-gay moral... as long as the story is good. It's always good to look at a story from the other end of the spectrum.

  • This is just stupid. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:35PM (#43085703) Homepage Journal

    I'm a Christian, but the US is in no way a Christain nation. For what it;s worth, I have no trouble with gays except for the "ick" factor; what you do is none of my business. Hell, I'm a fan of Queen. I'm friends with gays, atheists, hell, at least one murderer.

    I wouldn't be aghast if Richard Dawkins penned it, why is someone so up in arms about an openly anti-gay guy? He's entitled to his opinion. This looks like a McCarthy-style witch hunt, back in the day that gays had to hide. If I were gay, I'd be as outraged that this guy would be treated like gays used to be.

  • by neminem (561346) <> on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:35PM (#43085705) Homepage

    I always applauded him for being able to keep his personal brand of crazy out of it novels - it surprised me to learn how batshit insane he was, his novels always struck me as supremely rational. I did feel conflicted - on one hand, I didn't want to give monetary support to someone with such disgusting ideas, but on the other hand, I *did* want to support someone who wrote such beautiful stories.

    Then I read his Empire - guess he was just saving up all his crazy for that book. I haven't read its sequel; I hear it's even worse. I haven't bought anything from him since then. I don't feel conflicted anymore.

  • Re:An Old Discussion (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:44PM (#43085851)

    Meh, the woman was a lesbian and they have an "understanding" about "business trips", "poker nights with the guys", "lacrosse trips", and "separate bedrooms".

  • by magarity (164372) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @07:57PM (#43086057)

    Does that not simply lend credence to his claim of "the end of democracy in America"?

    No, what would lend credence to his claim would be a US state enacting a same-sex marriage law without the necessary majority support from elected representatives.

    What about when the opposite happens; when the majority of state voters decide to not allow same sex marriage but the unelected judiciary orders it allowed anyway? Is that a failure of democracy?

  • by Zaurus (674150) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:08PM (#43086187)
    I think that "anonymous reader" is a hypocrite. I believe it is "stupid" and "hateful" to call someone stupid and hateful for sharing their personal belief that homosexuality is damaging to the nation.

    I'm sick of the heterophobia and hypocrisy that's so popular in the media these days. "If you don't believe that homosexuality is a normal thing that's absolutely wonderful for everybody then WE ATTACK YOU! ...but don't you dare attack us. That violates our rights."

    Guess what? I believe that homosexuality is flat out wrong as well. So flame on.

  • by elfprince13 (1521333) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:19PM (#43086329) Homepage
    He also writes strong/heroic gay characters (have you read Songmaster, or the Homecoming series). He's not opposed to gay people/gay rights in general, but he STRONGLY believes that the traditional family unit is the foundation of civilization. I recommend you watch this video to get a better idea of where he's coming from: []
  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:45PM (#43086677)

    That video is very sad. A young guy who believes he's going to have to be celibate his whole life, because he's gay and was brought up in an ignorant church.

    Of course he probably won't stay celibate, and will go through years of pointlessly feeling guilty about it.

  • by yurtinus (1590157) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:49PM (#43086713)
    I don't understand why everybody is getting all up in arms over this. I don't think it's possible to write any sort of story without it being a derivative of somebody else's work. Hell, Battlestar Galactica itself is just a retelling of yet another Book of Mormon story. The art isn't in making up a story, the art is in how well you tell that story.
  • by Vreejack (68778) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @08:57PM (#43086795)

    On the other hand I am "shocked" to discover his position, given the homoerotic undertones in some of his works. Can we have more naked adolescent boys fighting in the shower? Preparing to fight the "buggers," no less. The man has unresolved issues.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @09:50PM (#43087421)

    Yes it is. When the majority of voters reject something, and a Judge allows it, then the judge needs to removed from the bench, and sent to prison for breaking the law.

    If gays want to get together, that's one thing.
    To say that a gay relationship is equal to a heterosexual one is ridiculous. Gays cannot impregnate one another (sex change recipients do not count), therefor they cannot procreate and continue the species, therefor they are not the same nor are they equal.

    Giving them the same rights without the possibility of actual procreation is silly.

    To call it a marriage is an affront to religions everywhere. Calling it a civil union is also a stretch, especially when most states don't allow it.

    Yes, these are my own views, I am entitled to them, as you are entitled to yours. If you don't like my views, then don't read them. You do not have the right NOT TO BE OFFENDED. So you do not have the right to silence me or my views. If you try, you will be breaking the 1st amendment, and since I swore an oath to uphold the constitution, I will be legally required to remove you from society.

    Have a nice day, get off my lawn, and shut the fuck up while I'm talking, as I get to express my views, then leave as I don't want to listen to yours.

  • by rocket rancher (447670) <> on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @09:59PM (#43087505)

    Does that not simply lend credence to his claim of "the end of democracy in America"?

    No, what would lend credence to his claim would be a US state enacting a same-sex marriage law without the necessary majority support from elected representatives.

    What about when the opposite happens; when the majority of state voters decide to not allow same sex marriage but the unelected judiciary orders it allowed anyway? Is that a failure of democracy?

    lol. it's called checks and balances and it works, dude. Or did you sleep through your American Government classes in high school? America has a democratic form of government, but it is by no means a democracy. Judicial nullification of stupid laws is a good thing. I don't care what the majority thinks is right -- if it is stupid, it is still stupid, and needs to be corrected. Fortunately our system of government, via the checks and balances that the framers of the US Constitution had the foresight to write into the law of the land, gets that part right. Stupid laws get passed all the time, and they get struck down by the courts all the time.

  • by IonOtter (629215) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @11:45PM (#43088491) Homepage

    The problem with your argument is that people are *not* asking the government to create or mandate a "marriage law" as you put it. Nobody who is actually working in the courts and legislative system is asking for any particular right. Nobody is asking for that, in any appreciable numbers, or with any appreciable influence.

    What IS happening, is that people are asking the government to clarify that there is no right to marriage at all.

    The so-called "right" to marry who you want is what is known as an "unenumerated right," [] meaning it's a "right" that you have by default, with no pre-existing restrictions, conditions or provisions. It's like the air around your head: it's yours to use however you see fit, so long as it doesn't impinge upon someone else's free use.

    What has happened is that individual states have illegally declared marriage to be an enumerated right that is the exclusive domain of a particular majority of society: i.e. heterosexuals.

    That, along with the Defense of Marriage Act, is in direct contradiction to the Constitution.

    So what the lawyers, activists and people with their hands in the issue are *really* asking for, is for the federal government to step in and say, "Marriage is not an enumerated right. Constitution wins, you lose, obey the law of the land. Allow consenting adults to marry whatever other consenting adults they wish."

    (With the appropriate, already established and legitimate conditions regarding age, consent, genetics and being an actual human.)

  • by Doctor_Jest (688315) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @12:48AM (#43088997)

    Funny that... since it's a Superman story... he can't publish it himself.

    And no one has the right to tell Card he CAN'T publish his work. (If it changed the Superman-ness).... and I hope he edits out the copyrighted Superman stuff and self-publishes. I'll buy it just to spite the easily offended nitwits who think anyone who doesn't agree with them is a hatemonger. (BTW, in case you missed it... I don't agree with Card. I agree with government being TOTALLY out of the marriage racket.)

  • by happy_place (632005) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @09:39AM (#43091709) Homepage

    There was a time when the creative minds of this country were discredited, blacklisted and even arrested because they were accused of being Communists, Radicals, Social Deviants and Homosexuals. Now the Homosexuals have their turn, and have proven they never really objected to McCarthyism, their righteous self-will knows no bounds, and they will oppress as they were oppressed.

    Where is the tolerance that they strove for when they were not a mainstream religion of thought? Is this the price of tolerance: More Oppression?!

    Ridiculous. This whole scandal, its hypocrisy is galling. Judge the art, not the artist. Some of our very best classics in science fiction are from people who were nonconformists in their day. In fact that goes for most authors... perhaps it is their outspoken natures that drives them to do things the rest of us can do little more than wish we did.

    OSC's comments seem almost prophetic in the face of what's occurred.


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