Tomorrow's Leftwing Freakout Today

If you’d like to get a jump on the next meltdown by the PC left, it will likely come sometime between now and November regarding the big-budget Hollywood adaption of Ender’s Game, the novel by noted sci-writer Orson Scott Card. It’s scheduled to be released by Lions Gate subsidiary Summit Entertainment in November, starring Harrison Ford and a facially-tattooed Ben Kingsley:


The film is based on the 1985 novel by Orson Scott Card, an author with strong anti-gay marriage views. That has drawn the attention of gay rights groups including Geeks OUT, which created a petition urging people not to see the film, buy movie-related merchandise or in any way support the project.

The group is organizing a series of “Skip Ender’s Game” events in New York, Orlando, Seattle and other major U.S. cities to coincide with the movie’s debut.

“By pledging to Skip Ender’s Game, we can send a clear and serious message to Card and those that do business with his brand of anti-gay activism — whatever he’s selling, we’re not buying,” Geeks OUT officials write. “The queer geek community will not subsidize his fear-mongering and religious bullying. We will not pay him to demean, insult, and oppress us.”

Ender’s Game follows a gifted child (Butterfield) training to help humanity beat back the next alien invasion.

Already, Wikipedia has a page devoted to the film with a “Controversy” subhead that notes:

In March 2013, some LGBT and pro-gay marriage groups[who?] began to criticize the film, which gives a producer’s credit to Orson Scott Card[citation needed], who is known for his opposition to same-sex marriage. Public relations exec Mark Umbach commented, “there is a huge LGBT audience for science fiction, and it’s going to be hard for those fans to separate Card’s comments from his work.”[35] The industry trade paper The Hollywood Reporter commented: “The new scrutiny of Card’s views could be a problem for the $110 million ‘Ender’s Game’ movie”. [36][37]


But is the fuss really warranted? Hollywood has a long history of adapting novels by authors who don’t qualify as PC and reworking their efforts leftward to suit tinseltown’s more delicate sensibilities. Dr. Richard Hornberger, who wrote the novel M*A*S*H under the pen name of Dr. Richard Hooker, was a conservative Republican who rooted for America to win the Korean War. His novel was about anti-idiotarians pushing back against the Army bureaucracy; Robert Altman and Larry Gelbart took Hornberger’s characters and setting and plugged in the anti-war themes to the movie and TV versions respectively, to transform the Hollywood versions into then-fashionable bourgeois protests against America’s fight with Communist North Vietnam.

Julie Salamon’s book The Devil’s Candy brilliantly describes how the sting of Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities was almost completely washed way in Brian DePalma’s bastardized hyper-PC 1990 film version, as the leftwing sensibilities of DePalma the Warner Bros executives clashed with Wolfe’s unfiltered vision of New York’s varied races vying for power and bloodsports in the Big Apple.

More recent examples of leftwing Hollywood inverting an author’s intent were mentioned by Brian Anderson of City Journal in 2005:


Further reinforcing Hollywood’s leftish leanings are liberal interest groups that monitor script content for “offensive”—read: politically incorrect—content. This pressure can utterly transform a film project, as Tom Clancy will tell you. In his novel The Sum of All Fears, Muslim terrorists explode a nuke at the Super Bowl. When Clancy optioned the book and the film went into development, the Council on American Islamic Relations got to work. The 2002 film villains: white neo-Nazis, not Muslim fanatics. Some Hollywood production companies actually have outreach offices that contact advocacy groups ahead of production to vet potential film scripts. “Keep in mind [that] one of the reasons why the FBI or the government or business are the villains is because everyone else has a constituency,” former Motion Picture Association head Jack Valenti points out.

The PC concerns, internalized in scriptwriters’ heads even before any advocate complains, can produce bizarre incoherence. Novelist and screenwriter Andrew Klavan’s True Crime is about an innocent white man on death row, railroaded because officials needed to prove that the death penalty isn’t racially biased. “The only one who figures this out is this politically incorrect journalist who can see through the B.S.,” Klavan relates. The gripping 1999 movie version, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood as journalist Steve Everett, transforms the innocent death-row inmate into a black man (played by Isaiah Washington). The movie works, even if it takes the anti-PC edge off Klavan’s novel.

But the screenplay leaves in a sequence depicting a black woman confronting journalist Everett for caring only about injustices against whites and not blacks—even though the movie now revolves around the reporter’s relentless quest to exonerate a wrongly convicted African American. “That scene no longer makes any sense,” Klavan laughs. “The screenwriter apparently found the original politically inappropriate.”


But Hollywood’s numerous previous examples of sanding the rough edges off novels, no matter what their source, won’t stop the PC left from protesting vigorously — hopefully not violently — when Card’s novel hits the big screen in November. The author was already blacklisted this year by gay protest groups from writing a Superman comic book for DC, a division of Time-Warner-CNN-HBO.

In contrast, the film version of Ender’s Game is virtually complete (a trailer was shown before this summer’s latest Star Trek movie) and will be released to recoup its reported $110 million budget. But as its Wikipedia page foreshadows, expect plenty of “Controversy” along the way — and likely reverse Manchurian Candidate-style statements from the film’s stars, as they’ll be no doubt be pressed to distance themselves from the novelist’s doubleplusungood thoughtcrimes.



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