Hollywood actor Harrison Ford has said his new film Ender's Game is not homophobic, saying the views of anti-gay author Orson Scott Card are 'completely separate' from the movie.
The actor was responding to the launch of a website Skip Ender’s Game by US activist group Geeks Out, which urges movie goers to boycott the film and avoid giving money to its author.
Card is a board member of the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage and has called for gay sex to be criminalized.
But Ford stressed the film does not address gay people at all.
'No part of the story concerns Mr Card’s theories about society in terms of gay issues or homosexual issues,' he said while promoting the film at San Diego Comic Con.
'I think he has a right to his opinions and has also made it clear that it was a battle that he fought and lost and would like to get on with the rest of life.'
Set more than a century into the future, the film is about a boy sent to military school to prepare for an alien invasion.
Ford said he’s glad Card told this story, and is glad to have had the chance to be part of it, adding: 'I think it’s an imaginative and complex story. I was delighted to be involved with playing a character that wrestles with these concerns and brought them into public consciousness.'
Ford's view has been supported by the film’s director Gavin Hood, who has been a member of the LGBT advocacy group the Courage Campaign for many years.
'I’m a little distressed by his point of view on gay marriage,' Hood said. 'However, the book is not about that issue.'
Hood said the book’s themes of kindness and compassion are what drew him to the story, and he was surprised by Card’s position on gay issues.
'I think it’s slightly bitterly ironic that those themes that are present in the book are not carried through on his particular view on gay marriage,' he said.
'I hope the book will still be appreciated as a great work of art, even though I don’t agree with the author. I optioned the book, not an author, and I love what the author said in that book.'
Lionsgate said they will host a benefit where they will show Ender's Game to raise money for LGBT charities.
Ender's Game is due for general release in the UK on 25 October, Australian cinemas on 31 October and US cinemas a day later.