In a controversial move GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, will be honoring Lionsgate Films with the Chairman’s Award at its 9th Annual GLSEN Respect Awards on October 19th. despite the LGBT communities major backlash and boycott of its upcoming November release of “Enders Game” which was written and is also being produced by outspoken homophobe and (ex?) National Organization for Marriage Board-member Orson Scott Card.
Back2Stonewall reached out to Andy Mara, GLSEN’s press representative about the choice of Lionsgate as a reward recipient at this time and how rewarding such a company is counter to the concept of “respect”. Below is the response that received not from Andy Mara of GLSEN but from Julia Marella of Slate PR, a public relations firm based in Hollywood, C.A.
Lionsgate has a long and rich history of creating LGBT-inclusive and affirming films. The studio has also been an industry leader in ensuring workplace protections and benefits for LGBT people. When Lionsgate acquired Summit Entertainment last year, the company inherited its library of current projects, including Ender’s Game. Though GLSEN flatly rejects book author Orson Scott Card’s support for the discrimination of LGBT people, we stand behind Lionsgate’s similar rejection of Card’s personal beliefs and its long-standing commitment to support the LGBT community.
Patrick Yacco of Geeks Out the organization behind the ongoing “Skip Ender’s Game” boycott had this to say of GLSEN’s choice:
“It’s difficult to reconcile Lionsgate’s history of LGBT engagement with their current marketing push for Ender’s Game. Lionsgate repeatedly promotes itself as a pro-equality entertainment company, but they continue to dance around the issue of their financial transactions with virulently homophobic author and activist Orson Scott Card. Until Lionsgate comes clean about Card’s financial stake in the Ender’s Game adaptation and its potential sequels, I find it very problematic that they’re being honored in this capacity.”
The question now is will GLSEN lose “respect” within the LGBT community for such an insensitive choice of an award?