From The Guardian to Boing Boing to Huffington Post, the debate syrrounding the appointment of Orson Scott Card to write a chapter of Superman Adventures continues. Here's a few prominent examples of the commentary being generated.
If one doesn't like a creator's politics, one is free to institute a personal boycott. I, for one, stopped buying Revlon products when I didn't like what Perlman did to Marvel. I don't buy Domino's pizza. My decisions make very little difference to the bottom line, but I can live with my choices.
Similarly, anyone offended by Card's beliefs is free to not buy his stories, if that is what they need to do. But organize to get him fired? That's just making him a martyr for a cause you don't believe in. Argue with him on the merits (where you're right), don't threaten his livelihood.
What can you do to keep my business, and the business of other LBGTQ readers (and their straight allies) who feel utterly betrayed by this thoughtless, illogical decision? Great question, DC. Yank the story. Don't publish it. You don't have to fire Card. Pay him, thank him for his time, and run something else. Say, by Phil Jimenez, or one of the other incredible LGBTQ talents you have in your stable that have been alienated by this colossal blunder. Then, publish an It Gets Better comic. With 100% of the proceeds going to the Trevor Project. Stories starring Batwoman, Bunker, Alan Scott, and straight heroes too. I'll do you a favor: I'll write the Superman story, free of charge. I've got more than thirty years of Superman research under my belt, so I think I know him pretty well.
I wish you did too.
One of the caveats of freedom of speech is that we should occasionally not try to bankrupt people we, as liberals, disagree with.
— Mark Millar (@mrmarkmillar) February 12, 2013
Y'know it's not even that Card is anti-gay that should make DC want to keep him at arm's length—it's his bizarre obsession with prepubescent boys and molestation. In a 2004 essay, Card wrote "the dark secret of homosexual society—the one that dares not speak its name—is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse."
Giving money to Orson Scott Card is certainly "WTF Certified." #synergy
— Chris Sims (@theisb) February 7, 2013
started writing something out about orson scott card, realized i don't really care about orson scott card
— Ivan Brandon (@IvanBrandon) February 12, 2013
I think the only proper compromise is that Orson Scott Card is allowed to stay writing Superman, but he has to make him gay.
— Ned Hartley (@NedHartley) February 12, 2013
I've known Orson Scott Card is a raging homophobe since the early 90s. I refuse to buy or read his work. But asking that he be denied work because he is a raging homophobe is taking it too far. Asking for workplace discrimination for any reason is counterproductive for those who want to end discrimination on their own behalf.
Imagine if Card had previously made comments about how great segregation was, or how he believes it's his right to own slaves. Imagine if Card had gone on lengthy diatribes about how all women should be expunged from the work force and shoved back into their kitchens, where they belong. What if Card was on the board of directors for a group dedicated to keeping interracial marriage illegal? At one point in the past, the majority of society could, disgustingly, view every single one of those statements as a valid opinion. This is where history has proven to be on the side of progress and equality, and it's here where every argument against gay marriage and LGBT equality is obliterated. History holds the truth. So why are anti-gay beliefs so easily dismissed as mere opinions whereas similar beliefs against people of color labeled as racist and are therefore, rightfully so, looked at as reprehensible?
To me, there's a massive difference between Frank Miller's opinions on Occupy Wall Street (to use one example) and how we interact with the other human beings on our planet. I support Card's right as an artist to create and have the work be judged on its own merit. But, at the same time, I admonish DC for inviting Card to create that work for them. Card can, and has, created his own material for most of his career. He's not artistically censored by being denied two issues of a work-for-hire Superman comic, and DC could say, "we don't want to put money in the pocket of someone who thinks gay people should be jailed if they're too gay."
And just as there is a petition to get Orson Scott Card fired from Superman, now over 6,000 sinatures, there is now also a petition to stop that from happening. With slightly fewer signatures. As in, about 15. Though it appears they do rather want Paypal donations first…