Why Orson Scott Card should not write Superman

by Philip R. Whigham

Superman OSC

I’m not going to write a review in this post. Instead, I’m going to offer my opinion on a topic I feel very strongly about. I encourage you to join the conversation and I welcome all (especially differing) opinions.

For the upcoming reboot of The Adventures of Superman, DC has tapped a writer for the anthology series that I feel is highly inappropriate. Orson Scott Card is a well recognized award-winning science fiction author. I’m the only person I know who read his seminal sci-fi novel Ender’s Game and didn’t truly enjoy it.

I’m the first to admit I allowed my knowledge of Card’s personal views color my enjoyment of his work. I think it made me have a more critical eye for things I oppose, and I read into his work more than I would have had I not known. I saw what I wanted to: I found themes of racism and homophobia.

Orson Scott Card is a very active member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints (more familiarly known as Mormons.) The church has had a checkered past when it comes to race relations, and is still a vocal supporter of the repression of human rights in one particular area: the Mormons are anti-gay. The Church of Latter-Day Saints were the main proponents of California’s Prop. 8, the state law that would make gay marriage illegal. The fate of that vile piece of legislation is to be decided in The United States Supreme Court soon.

“So what?” you may say. This man certainly does have a right to his perverse and disgusting views. Go ahead, take a moment and review what Card thinks about the LGBT community. I’ll link his opinions here. Go on, read that… I’ll wait.

Did you enjoy the part where he tried to claim lack of context for critics of his view while still not reversing it a bit?

Perhaps you’ll enjoy his more “enlightened” view in 2004 featured here.

So why should this man not be allowed to ply his trade and make money writing The Adventures of Superman? It all has to do with the National Organization for Marriage. Orson Scott Card is a board member in this activist organization whose sole goal is to oppose marriage equality on all fronts. To not mince words: Orson Scott Card is a bigot who uses his personal money to stop Love.

This does not make his writing bad. Indeed, by all account his writing is pretty good. I’m not questioning DC’s artistic choice. I feel sci-fi writers are uniquely equipped to deal with a character like Superman.

What I do question is DC’s integrity as a company when it hires a writer whose actions directly counter the progress the publisher has made in regards to human rights. The company features several openly gay superheroes and artists. This man whom they’ve hired does not simply disagree with their human rights: he actively seeks to repress them.

If Orson Scott Card were a dues-paying member of the Ku Klux Klan, this would not be an issue.

I’m not expecting Card to be removed from the title. DC has already made it clear they won’t do so. I’m simply asking you: if you care at all for human rights, DO NOT BUY THIS COMIC. Show DC you will not support their choice to allow Orson Scott Card to write for them.