THE COLLISION: Episode 63 – Separating Art from the Artist

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This week on The Collision, the release of Ender’s Game has prompted us to talk about separating art from the artist.  For those who don’t know, the movie is based on a book by homophobic author Orson Scott Card.  We discuss the purpose and effectiveness of boycotting the movie, and then we expand the conversation to include controversial filmmakers like Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, and Mel Gibson as well as controversial films like Birth of a Nation and Triumph of the Will.  I think this is one of the best episodes we’ve done thus far, and I hope you’ll give it a listen.  As always, we finish with our recommendations.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“Reader Questions & Answers”), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg, @AdamChitwood, and @DrClawMD (Dave Trumbore).

Adam’s Recommendation: Manhattan

Dave’s Recommendation: Graveyard Shift

Matt’s Recommendation: Rosemary’s Baby

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  • The Flobbit

    Really, it sickens me how you guys call him “homophobic author Orson Scott Card”, and “Orson Scott Card, a homophobe”. Talk about separating art from artist, you guys cannot stop harping on this fact. You are the biggest culprits. Card is a genius of a writer, who wrote the greatest science fiction novel since Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – Ender’s Game, a work of stunning depth, ideas, action, and themes.

    At the end of the day, does it even matter what his views are?

    • Sten

      Yeah, I had the same feeling when they tell all the stories about the controversial filmmakers. If you wanna know, look it up. But they talk about it very gossiplike. And then they give the advice to “feel right”, then the money doesn’t matter. Yeah, right. And then they forgot Scientology completely. Poor podcast discussion…

      • The Flobbit

        Yeah, but the end of the day, Scientology does not affect the acting skills and charisma of Tom Cruise, Travolta, etc. Their religion is their personal decision and should not be lumped together with their acting career.

        Do I care that Patrick Rothfuss will not see The Hobbit because he likens it to seeing Winnie the Pooh as an emaciated drug addict doing crack? YES, very much indeed. Does it change my opinion of his brilliant book The Name of the Wind? NO, because this (stupid) opinion does not factor into the book.

      • TrekBeatTK

        OSC’s position is almost certainly influenced by his Mormon religion as well and should not be lumped together with his writing career.
        And from everything I’ve read, OSC’s position is primarily against institutionalizing homsexual marriage. He’s not a “homophobe” like the Westboro Baptist Church who actively target homosexuals with hate, proclaiming they hate them and God hates them. OSC doesn’t do that. Nor does he have a paranoid fear of homosexuals (which is what the word “homophobe” actually implies).
        I’ve read a lot of things the boycotters have written where OSC is quoted out of context (for example, they claim he called gay marriage “the end of Western civilization”, which he did not. He said the breakdown of the nuclear family was destructive to Western civilization, and that gay marriage was admittedly far less damaging than the rampant divorce and single parenting in this country.)
        To start this podcast with “Orson Scott Card is a raging homophobe” is frankly slanderous and irresponsible. Think what you want, boycott if you want, but that kind of rampant name-calling propaganda is its own brand of hateful.

      • The Flobbit

        Bravo my good man! Wholeheartedly agree with that eloquent statement.

      • Kevin

        He doesn’t want homosexuals to have the same rights as heterosexuals, so he is in fact a homophobe.

      • TrekBeatTK

        Kevin, as I indicated above, that is not a working definition of “homophobe”. It may define him as a bigot but not homophobe. The suffix -phobe implies fear and aversion. Partiality under the law is nut sufficient to define him that way.
        Now, as to just what these same rights are that he wants to deny homosexuals, please educate me. Is it solely the marriage issue? If so, Card and others like him would argue that homosexuals DO have the same rights as heterosexuals: to marry someone of the opposite gender. No one is denying them that. But you mean, to marry someone of the same gender. Well, can heterosexuals marry people of the same gender, or should they be able to if they wish?
        The sticking point becomes how do we legally define “marriage” as a construct? Does it imply a romantic or sexual relationship? That seems to be the primary argument in favor of gay marriage; “the law can’t tell me who to love” or “of two consenting adults love each other they should be able to marry”. Fine, we can have that discussion, but it is a distinction that needs to be made in the law and that’s where these semi-political ideological conflicts come. Just remember that the law ALREADY prevents the marriage of certain others, even heterosexuals, in certain relationships. The law does not recognize incestual marriage. The law does not recognize polygamy (generally). What I’m getting at is for most people, there is a line they draw somewhere. For Card to lobby for his position is not so different from all those on the other side lobbying to grant homosexuals the right to marry each other. Also, nobody’s saying they can’t “jump a broom” so to speak and call themselves married. This is a fight over legal benefits, such as tax breaks.
        Personally, I think if we didn’t afford certain benefits to married couples specifically, this would be a non-issue. Eliminate income tax and you eliminate the tax benefit for married couples.
        Is Card REALLY against people having the same rights? I don’t think he would consider it that way. Also, for religious people, homosexuality is a matter of behavior, and not a defining characteristic. So they (we) don’t see it the same as denying black people the vote. We have laws that say drunks can’t drive cars; if a person has a family history of alcoholism, and claims a genetic predisposition toward it, can he argue he was just “born that way” and his right to drive is being denied? I know that may sound crazy to you, but it’s closer to the way many people think.
        Nothing I’ve read from OSC suggest vitriolic hatred or crippling paranoia of homosexual people. He simply approaches these issues from a different perspective. Maybe he’s right, maybe he’s wrong, but he deserves the decency of not getting quickly labeled with pejoratives designed to inflame feelings against him. I don’t go around saying Ryan Murphy is a raging queer; shouldn’t respect work both ways? Modern society loves stripping words of their meaning; “homophobe” is used far too broadly and often incorrectly.

      • Kevin

        You are correct. I was wrong. Homophobia is “an extreme and irrational aversion to homosexuality”, so OSC would not qualify. The Flobbit however is a homophobe.

      • The Flobbit

        Referring to me as a homophobe is an absurd and foundless statement that has no basis in truth. I can only assume you have no idea what the word “homophobe” means, or that you randomly accuse strangers of such things.

      • Kevin

        Exhibit A: “Homosexuality is wrong because it goes against the natural order of things.”
        Exhibit B:”You can control your sexual orientations and that is a known fact.”
        Exhibit C:”More people should be homophobic!”
        You also used the word “homos”.

      • Sten

        Right! They do their job, and they do it more or less good. A whole other story with that Will Smith movie with his son and too much of Scientology beliefs in the script. Written by Will Smith himself. That is no good example how to keep your personal beliefs personal. Tom Cruise does a better job at that. Just compare Oblivion and After Earth and you know, what I mean.

      • The Flobbit

        Good point. Except Will Smith is not officially a Scientologist.

      • Sten

        Right! They do their job, and they do it more or less good. A whole other story with that Will Smith movie with his son and too much of Scientology beliefs in the script. Written by Will Smith himself. That is no good example how to keep your personal beliefs personal. Tom Cruise does a better job at that. Just compare Oblivion and After Earth and you know, what I mean.

  • Old Soldier

    Notice how Goldberg failed to say “child raping director Roman Polanski”

    • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

      Are people boycotting Roman Polanski’s movies because of that? I hadn’t noticed. Also, is Roman Polanski still raping children and championing the cause of child rape? Because if you haven’t figured it out yet you raging dipshit, your analogy is shit.

      • Old Soldier

        He is STILL a child rapist. The fact you didn’t mention this but you did mention Card’s “homophobia” means you think the latter is worse than the former.
        Also you called me a “dipshit”, does that make you less or more raging than I?

      • The Flobbit

        Your point only goes to show that we deem intolerance to homosexuals a worse offense than child rape. What a f-cked up world, eh?

  • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

    Sorry to be intolerant of a person who won’t tolerate homosexuals being married as if such an act would change his life in any way, shape or form. We must learn to tolerate those who don’t have the humanity to tolerate others. Very fair.

    Also, Scott feels that “traditional” marriage is threatened by gay marriage. Therefore, the threat he feels has created fear of homosexual behavior, in this case, their desire to marry the people they love.

    • The Flobbit

      Hey Matt, your analogy works both ways. Why are _you_ being intolerant of someone who will never affect YOUR life in any way, shape, or form? I am sure there is a logical answer, but why? Have you taken it upon yourself to champion gays on the Internet?

  • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

    Sorry to be intolerant of a person who won’t tolerate homosexuals being married as if such an act would change his life in any way, shape or form. We must learn to tolerate those who don’t have the humanity to tolerate others. Very fair.

    Also, Scott feels that “traditional” marriage is threatened by gay marriage. Therefore, the threat he feels has created fear of homosexual behavior, in this case, their desire to marry the people they love.

  • Sten
  • Sten
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