DC Comics has responded to criticism and calls for a boycott after it hired an anti-gay writer to work on a new digital first Superman comic book to be launched later this year.
Orson Scott Card, author of Enders Game, was commissioned by DC to write the first two instalments of its new digital-first comic, Adventures of Superman, which has prompted calls for a boycott on the company.
Speaking to The Advocate, a spokesperson for DC said: “As content creators we steadfastly support freedom of expression, however the personal views of individuals associated with DC Comics are just that — personal views — and not those of the company itself.”
The spokesperson also went on to say that the new edition of the Superman comic would be anthological, and so different guest writers would be commissioned to write one or two episodes.
Mr Card, a devout Mormon, has been vocal about his anti-gay views in the past. In a 2004 essay titled, Homosexual ‘Marriage’ and Civilisaition he wrote that gay people were not “normal”.
He wrote: “The dark secret of homosexual society—the one that dares not speak its name—is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally.”
He later wrote a re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in which some claim that he attempted to link homosexuality to paedophilia.
In 1990, Mr Card called for laws banning gay sex to remain in place.
Fans of Superman and DC took to twitter to question the decision to allow such a writer to be employed by a company in the past seen as progressive with its editorial decisions.
Many suggested that it Mr Card was an unsuitable choice to write Superman, a character who has historically been portrayed as the paragon of good, reports the New Statesman.
An AllOut petition with over 2,000 signatures was started in order to push DC to drop the story lines written by Mr Card.
The petition page read: “DC Comics has just hired anti-gay writer Orson Scott Card for their new digital Adventures of Superman.
“He’s written publicly that he believes marriage equality would lead to the end of civilization. He’s also on the board of a notorious anti-equality organization.
“We need to let DC Comics know they can’t support Orson Scott Card or his work to keep LGBT people as second-class citizens. They know they’re accountable to their fans, so if enough of us speak out now, they’ll hear us loud and clear.”
Last year, DC announced that Alan Scott, the earliest incarnation of Green Lantern, would be reintroduced as gay. Prior to that, Batwoman was announced as the first lesbian superhero to have her own solo title