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Column: New writer threatens diversity

In My Opinion

Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013

Updated: Friday, February 22, 2013 13:02

Richard O'Brien

THE MAROON

RICHARD O’BRIEN: In My Opinion

Superman

RICHARD O’BRIEN/THE MAROON

DC Comics, home to such well-known characters as Batman and Superman, has long had issues introducing diversity into their stories. Even in 2013, the majority of the company’s comics are headlined by white, heterosexual male leads. While there have been major steps toward diversifying these heroes, the recent hiring of Orson Scott Card to write a story for a new Superman series may threaten this trend. The argument against Card has to do with his very public homophobic veiws and how those views will be reflected in Superman’s character.

Known for giving the world such Science Fiction classics as “Ender’s Game” and its companion novel, “Ender’s Shadow,” Card has gained a degree of infamy these days as a consequence of his very public views on same-sex marriage.

In his article “Homosexual ‘Marriage’ and Civilization,” Card espouses some fairly backwards, homophobic views, including the fictitious idea that sexual abuse somehow turns people gay. Card is also a board member for NOM, the National Organization for Marriage, a group that works against the legalization of gay marriage.

The announcement of Card as writer for the initial installments of “Adventures of Superman” has created an outcry among the wider comics community. The Dallas-based store Zeus Comics has responded by refusing to stock the issue and reaching out to other comic book retailers to do the same. Additionally, a petition has been set up to protest Card’s involvement with the project. The petition has reached over 12,000 signatures as of this writing.

When asked to comment, a DC representative replied that the company is standing by its decision and that a writer’s personal views do not reflect the views of DC as a company.

Being famous and having the support of a massive corporation does not make it okay to hold hateful, bigoted views against an entire group of people because of their sexual orientation.

The bigger problem with all of this is not that Card is writing a comic—he’s made forays into the genre before with 2005’s Ultimate Iron Man miniseries—but that he is writing Superman. As a character, Superman can admittedly get tedious after so many issues of wrestling with time-displaced supergods or solving the riddle of the Ultra-Sphinx to save the life of his one true love. Where Superman’s strength comes from is his place as a symbol. Superman is the ideal person: strong, heroic, and infinitely selfless. Superman will take the time out of his day to help anyone, regardless of sexual orientation.

Obviously not every comic book writer is going to be a paragon of virtue as a job requirement for writing the adventures of a space alien-cum-sun god, but hiring a writer with views like Card’s shows a certain social irresponsibility on DC’s part, especially when the company’s line of superhero comics includes highly successful LGBT heroes such as Batwoman, superhero couple Apollo and Midnighter, and Green Lantern Alan Scott. If anything, the presence of such characters should show that the company wants to move forward in creating positive voices for people of all orientations.

Richard O’Brien is an English major and can be reached at
rtobrien@loyno.edu

In My Opinion is a regular column open to all Loyola students. Those interested in contributing can contact letter@loyno.edu 

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6 comments Log in to Comment

Anonymous
Thu Feb 28 2013 19:22
"When asked to comment, a DC representative replied that the company is standing by its decision and that a writer's personal views do not reflect the views of DC as a company."

Thank God they have common sense. BTW, writer looks like a fag which is why he's offended.

lawl
Tue Feb 26 2013 12:56
If I buy a subscription and then donate an equal amount of money to Freedom to Marry, does that leave me with a net balance of zero guilt points?
Seattle Bob
Sat Feb 23 2013 22:07
Derp: multiculturalism and diversity supposedly allow for differing worldviews. The truth is, they do not. The tenets of so-called multiculturalism and diversity favor only one worldview; in O'Brien's article, one of these tenets is touched upon, namely, pro-same-sex marriage. (An interesting side note: multiculturalism and diversity declare that religions like Islam and Orthodox Judaism must be allowed to have their say in a society. Islam expressly prohibits homosexual acts, however, let alone same-sex marriage. Likewise with Orthodox Judaism. I find it very telling that very few so-called progressive writers touch upon these facts. Oh, they'll go after a Christian, all right, but never after anyone in a so-called protected class. In other words, I'm accusing most supporters of multiculturalism and diversity not only of outright hypocrisy, but downright stupidity.)

You don't seem to understand my sarcasm, Derp, in my P.S. to Mr. O'Brien. That's another thing that bothers me; not only does it seem that Catholic institutions are no longer teaching logic, they're no longer teaching rhetoric, either. The sad thing is that back in the 40s and 50s, people who only had high school educations would have instantly picked up on the sarcasm.

Orson Scott Card has the right, and the privilege, of saying whatever he wants to say. If that offends the multiculturalism and diversity folk and causes them to persecute Card, so be it. This only adds more fuel to the flames of anti-multiculturalism and anti-diversity dissent.

May those flames burn brighter.

P.S. I'm a mixed-race (white and American Indian) atheist who believes in evolution. I could care less what homosexuals do, as long as they don't attempt to force their beliefs upon me. Likewise, I will not tolerate ANYONE'S telling me what to believe or do, especially over-privileged liberals.

Derp
Fri Feb 22 2013 22:19
@Seattle Bob Tolerance of other religions is good in theory, but when you're dealing with a religion that has donated millions to campaigns not letting gays marry, the offer's off the table. As they say, my right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins.
Seattle Bob
Fri Feb 22 2013 16:32
P.S. Orson Scott Card is a Mormon. I think that someone needs to go to a sensitivity class so that he will better treat, and respect, those of the Latter-Day Saints faith.
Seattle Bob
Thu Feb 21 2013 20:51
I thought that diversity meant accepting more than one point of view, whether that view was pro-life or pro-abortion, pro-capitalism or anti-capitalism, or pro-same-sex marriage or anti-same-sex marriage. In your case, it seems that your definition of diversity is one of Orwellian Doublespeak: we believe in diversity as long as it is not diverse.

I thought that Catholic institutions taught logic. Oh, well.

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