Superman comic's anti-gay writer faces backlash from major media
Companies set to work with Orson Scott Card on upcoming film threatening to halt promotion after his anti-gay remarks
Amanda Holpuch in New York; guardian.co.uk, Thursday 21 February 2013 20.02 GMT
The controversy over anti gay-marriage campaigner Orson Scott Card's deal to write the next Superman chapter has spilled over to major media companies who are due to work with the sci-fi author in 2013.
Orson Scott Card's very public personal beliefs came under renewed fire when DC Comics announced on 6 February that he was signed on to write a story in the digital-first Adventures of Superman anthology. That ire is now threatening promotions of the filmed adaptation of Card's sci-fi novel Ender's Game, which hits theaters in November.
One studio executive told the Hollywood Reporter that the film's production company Summit should "keep him out of the limelight as much as possible."
"I don't think you take him to any fanboy event," said another. "This will definitely take away from their creative and their property."
Card's collection of anti-gay sentiments include saying that legalizing gay marriage: "Is about giving the left the power to force anti-religious values on our children," and that being gay is a "a reproductive dysfunction".
And as public opinion on gay marriage has shifted favorably, Card's opinions have increasingly alienated his audience.
An online petition requesting that DC Comics drop Card is less than 500 signatures short of its 15,000 signature goal. Comic-book store owners have said they won't sell his Superman comic. Freelance writer Glen Weldon wrote on NPR that the Card-penned comic would be the first bit of Superman pop culture he would avoid after 45 years of fandom.
Weldon said there are plenty of writers whose opinions he disagrees with, but Card is different because he is in activist who serves on the National Organization for Marriage, a group dedicated to preventing the legalization of same-sex marriage.
"DC Comics has handed the keys to the 'champion of the oppressed' to a guy who has dedicated himself to oppress me, and my partner, and millions of people like us," Weldon said. "It represents a fundamental misread of who the character is, and what he means."
DC's inclusion of Card seems to backpedal on the increasing appearance of gay characters and marriage into mainstream books. Archie Comics and Marvel Comics featured gay weddings in their comics last year and DC reintroduced the Green Lantern as gay shortly after.
Archie Comics said in October that they received thousands of new subscribers and lost only seven after introducing gay character Kevin Keller. Marvel Comics writer Daniel Ketchum, who is gay, said he was prepared for a backlash before announcing that superhero Northstar would be marrying his partner, but was instead flooded with comments supporting the marriage.
DC Comics co-publisher Dan Didio told the Guardian in October that fan reception of gay characters was "extraordinarily positive."
This week, DC Comics released its newest issue of Batwoman, where the superhero proposes to her girlfriend, a plotline unlikely to curry favor with Card.
The company told the Advocate in early February: "As content creators we steadfastly support freedom of expression, however the personal views of individuals associated with DC Comics are just that – personal views – and not those of the company itself." t