Faced with the growing backlash over its decision to hire sci-fi author and vocal gay-rights opponent Orson Scott Card to contribute to its new Adventures of Superman anthology, DC Comics has issued a response that may do little to satisfy critics.
In a statement released to The Advocate and Fox News Radio, the publisher 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."
Best known for his award-winning 1985 novel Ender's Game, Card has become notorious for his writings over the past decade on homosexuality and his outspoken opposition to marriage equality. A board member of the National Organization for Marriage, a group dedicated to the opposition of same-sex marriage, Card in 2008 endorsed the overthrow of the government following rulings by "dictator-judges" upholding that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.
In his open letter to DC posted earlier this week, comedian Michl Hartney addressed the issue of freedom of expression, noting that it isn't Card's "personal views" that have so many people up in arms, but rather his actions.
"There’s a difference between having conservative political beliefs and being an active force of bigotry and hatred. Card is the latter," Hartney wrote. "So draw away, Ethan Van Sciver, you fabulous Republican! Fine with me! Orson Scott Card, however, is in an entirely different, unjust league."
As of this morning, nearly 8,000 people have signed an online petition asking that DC drop Card as a writer of Adventures of Superman, and Tuesday afternoon Dallas retailer Zeus Comics announced it wouldn't order the print edition of the digital-first comic.
Adventures of Superman debuts online April 29 and in print May 29.