So this: Book News: Anger Over 'Superman' Author Who Condemns Homosexuality
I think I've written in the past about my distaste for Orson Scott Card's personal beliefs and how my knowledge of them kept me from reading his most famous book, Ender's Game, for quite some time. Since then, I have read (and enjoyed) Ender's Game, as well as his Pathfinder series of books (Pathfinder and Ruins).
Should I be ashamed, as a gay man, a human being, a YA writer, of not boycotting Card's work?
That's a complicated question to which I don't have a concrete answer.
First, the issue at hand: should DC have hired Card to write Superman? Probably not. Superman especially, is an icon, a symbol of the best of us, and hiring someone who is not shy about sharing his anti-homosexual beliefs is going to detract from the actual writing. It may not even matter if Card pens the most brilliant Superman in the history of the comic; his personal beliefs will overshadow his work.
That said, DC cares about talent, and there's no denying that Card is a talented writer. A writer's personal life is his personal life, and so long as he doesn't push his agenda through his writing, it probably shouldn't matter what his personal beliefs are.
Which leads me to the gray area here. Card's books. For the longest time, I felt incapable of separating the man from the work. I thought his books would be thinly veiled anti-gay propaganda. They were not. Pathfinder and Ruins were both well-written, insightful, and interesting explorations of young adulthood and time travel. Sexuality was never even brought up or considered.
Had Card used his books as a soapbox for his personal beliefs, I would have returned them to the bookstore and never purchased another. Still, part of me feels like I'm doing something wrong by supporting him, by giving him my money, knowing that he does support efforts to keep gays and lesbians from having the right to marry.
I personally believe that guns have no place in a civilized society, but I don't write about it in my books. Should pro-gun advocates boycott my books? I gave money to Hilary Clinton's campaign. Should conservatives boycott my books?
Maybe. Maybe they do. Should they? I don't know.
Personally, I don't know where I stand on this issue. Card could write a brilliant Superman. I just don't know. I don't know that people are wrong for wanting DC to reverse their decision. I do know that the best way to send a message is to vote with your wallet. If you don't like the things a company does, don't give them your money.
I don't eat at Chick-fil-a anymore, and I don't shop at Lowes. If people are this against Card writing for DC, then maybe they should not buy the comic. If sales slump, I doubt he'd be asked to write again.
I'm just not sure a person's personal beliefs should be held against their work unless they translate into the work itself. The way Chick-fil-a uses consumer dollars to fun anti-gay causes.
What do you think?