Thursday, 1 August 2013

Boycotts

The other day one of the gay venues in one of the nearby cities (Bristol for anyone in the UK) announced on their Facebook page that they were going to stop selling Russian made vodka, instead they were going to only sell a brand that was owned and made in the UK. The explained it was in protest at the Russian governments treatment of gays. I'm not a big vodka drinker so something like this wouldn't be a hardship for me.

Jenny posted about this and quite rightly raised the issue of the Greek governments treatment of transgendered individuals, strangely we haven't seen a call to boycott products from there.

The other day I was in Exeter for my latest laser and counselling sessions. As I had some time to spare I popped into Waterstones bookshop for a browse. As I was looking at the science fiction section I noticed that two new books had been released as prequels to one of my favourite series of books. On the front of both was a "Now a major motion picture" sticker. Awesome I thought. Must check it out when I get home.

Youtube came up trumps and I found the trailer for it.



The movie looks really good and Ben Kingsley and Harrison Ford are pretty near perfectly cast in their roles.
Yesterday I mentioned it to a colleague who then hinted at the books author, Orson Scott Card's, attitude to gays and lesbians.
Off to Google and wow there really was a lot of comment about his views and also suggesting that the film be boycotted. Lionsgate who are behind the film even released a statement distancing themselves from his views.

I can see where people are coming from with regards to his views, which he is entitled to as is everyone else. What amazed me though was the fact that nobody seems to have picked up on the fact that the film is about children who are turned into soldiers to fight to protect the Earth from an alien threat. Considering the news reports and documentaries over the last few years about children who are turned into soldiers to fight in the wars and other violent struggles that have occurred in Africa I would have thought that if you wanted to boycott the film for a reason then it would be because of that reason, or maybe rather than boycotting it go along and watch it then use the film to highlight how wrong it is to take innocent, young children and turn them into killers.

I'm torn by whether to go and see the movie or not. I loved the books and from the trailer it looks impressive, Ben Kingsley is also one of my favorite actors. Do I want some of my cash going to someone who has expressed anti-gay views and who supports those that would take away the rights of LGBT folk? Not really but I also want to go and see how one of my favorite books has been translated to the big screen.

I suspect at the end of the day that I'll still go and see the movie. OSC will have already received what money he's going to get for the film rights to his book already I suspect. All that boycotting the film is likely to do is to affect the film studio that made it and possibly even the people that work for them. If they aren't anti-gay then is it really fair to them?

If people really want to boycott something to do with OSC then it would be better to encourage people to stop buying his books so that any money that he makes from them which might be going to support anti-gay organizations isn't available for him to donate.

The really silly thing about this though is that if you are going to start boycotting writers, singers or any other artist because of their views then you are going to have to start researching their views on various subjects before you purchase anything that they produce. Which does mean that the wonderful experience of wandering into a book store or record shop, finding something interesting and buying it on impulse is going to stop happening because you'll have to do a quick search to make sure that the author or artist does not have any views that you find offensive.

Life is far too short for that.






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