When an author’s opinions matter

Ordinarily, I’m of the opinion that you don’t have to know anything about an author to like their work; in fact, you may even disagree with some of their personal choices and opinions, but you can still like the work of an author/artist/creator because they make beautiful and thought-provoking things. It’s tough sometimes, but you can separate the opinions/personality of the person from the quality of their work.

Sometimes, though, you just can’t give them that sort of a pass anymore.

Orson Scott Card is one of those people for me, and it’s painful – I want to recommend Ender’s Game to people, to share this work that can be such a bright spot for alienated-feeling smart young folks, to impress upon them that it’s OKAY to be smart, OKAY to be different.

But according to OSC, it’s only okay to be different if you’re, you know, standing up against xenophobia…not if you’re gay. If you’re gay, you’re totally going to hell.

Let’s all pause to make the O_o face for a minute here.

Done? Okay.

So it’s good and admirable to stand up against, you know, indiscriminately killing aliens because they’re alien…but it’s totally cool to discriminate against and denigrate certain people because of whom they happen to be attracted to. Uhm, no. That’s not a bit of hypocrisy I can abide.

So you can imagine my jaw dropping when I found out that Orson Scott Card wrote an impassioned plea for people to NOT boycott the movie of Ender’s Game because he’s a raging homophobic asshole.

Because, clearly, with the Supreme Court ruling, the issue of gay marriage is moot, all of his horrible and vicious attacks on queer folk of all kinds are moot, and people should live and let live and give him money to enable him to continue being a bigoted arse.

Yup.

Uhm, how about no.

Sorry, OSC. Still boycotting. On this one, your personal opinions really do influence how I see your work, and I will not give you money, even with your faux apology/plea and your sneering comment about “tolerance.”

How about you, dear readers? Do an author’s personal opinions sway you regarding their work?

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  • M. Fenn

    Right there with you on OSC. Harlan Ellison is another one for whom I’ve lost nearly all respect. I say nearly, because he was an amazing writer once upon a time and I used to enjoy his ranty essays (I love a good rant), but I’ll never spend another dime on his stuff. Discovering this year that Asimov was a big creeper has me looking askance at our shelves full of his books, too. *sigh* Why do people have to be that way?

  • http://www.candlemarkandgleam.com Candlemark & Gleam

    I really wish it didn’t matter what an author’s (or artist’s, etc.) opinions are. And yet…I can’t bring myself to give money to people who, in turn, give that money to causes I stridently disagree with, you know? OSC is the prime example of that one.

  • M. Fenn

    Me, too. And sometimes I can see past that, at least somewhat. Heinlein’s been dead for a really long time, no? But with folks like OSC, who actually go out of their way to promote an agenda and effect laws (and are still very much alive), how can you avoid it?

  • http://www.candlemarkandgleam.com Candlemark & Gleam

    Yeah, that’s it – when an author is alive, kicking, and kicking up a fuss over something you fundamentally disagree with…you actually do have to take that into consideration, quality of their work notwithstanding.