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Quote of the Day: Brian Michael Bendis on writers and empathy

Brian Michael Bendis

Brian Michael Bendis

A writer who identifies himself as conservative asked Brian Michael Bendis what he thought of the Orson Scott Card “witch hunt,” and in passing commented, “I understand most creators are on the left side and its natural that their personal views seep into their work.”

Bendis questioned that, saying:

what we can agree on is that most writers are empathetic by nature. we spend most of our day thinking about the deepest, darkest and most promising thoughts of a variety of characters and with that comes a great sense of sympathy and empathy for a variety of people and their struggles.

is that left of center? I don’t think so. I think it’s pretty centrist.

I have a great many friends who wholeheartedly label themselves conservative and I don’t think any of them feel differently than me about wanting everyone to have whatever they want this life. I have friends from all over the world who have grown up in all kinds of communities and with all kinds of different political beliefs and the one thing we have in common is we all want everyone to be happy.

Bendis goes on to say that Card, who is a board member of the National Organization for Marriage, which actively opposes same-sex marriage, “is going out of his way to try to deny people their rights as human beings,” adding, “it flies in the face of the empathy that I expect from writers.”

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Comments

14 Comments

Bendis gets a lot of shit, but things like this are why I love the man. Fantastic.

I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Orson Scott Card. He works in the ideas business, so he can’t really complain if he loses work because people don’t like his ideas.

Simon DelMonte

July 15, 2013 at 1:32 pm

And yet I can’t tell if BMB is okay with a boycott or not.

Which is fine since i can’t tell you if I want one, either.

Johnny_Thunders

July 15, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Samurai 36 – defending DC’s ‘shenanigans’ to the death. ;)

I agree with Bendis that it’s not about simply his views but it’s the fact that he uses his money and fame to actively take away the rights of some people for no other reason then that it doesn’t fit in with the way he thinks things should be. There are a great many social conservative comic pros whose work I actively buy. Chuck Dixon as expressed anti-gay views in the past and did a batman story that a lot of people interpreted as him saying Batman would be in support of policies like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell but no one made a peep when he made money off The last Batman movie. Even Bill Willingham and Steve Ditko have some pretty closed minded views on things but that doesn’t mean I don’t read their stuff when it’s good.

I agree with Bendis that it’s not about simply his views but it’s the fact that he uses his money and fame to actively take away the rights of some people for no other reason then that it doesn’t fit in with the way he thinks things should be.

Could not this same argument be made about all the liberals in the comic book business who want to take away peoples’ right to own guns?

We all want everyone to be happy. Wow that is deep.

Stephen Conway

July 16, 2013 at 6:19 am

@Red Comet:

Speaking as someone from one of those countries where the ownership of arms isn’t a constitutionally protected right (That’s most of them, by the way), there is a massive difference between people advocating their natural right to be a human, and people advocating their artificial right to bear arms in defense of the state. To think both situations are equal is absurd.

Jake Earlewine

July 16, 2013 at 9:18 am

I passionately hate what Bendis has done to the Marvel characters I once loved, but I have to applaud the man for what he said in the quote above.

And Stephen Conway, I’ll second what you wrote. You can’t equate the right to love someone of the same sex with the right to own weapons. Does not compute.

“Could not this same argument be made about all the liberals in the comic book business who want to take away peoples’ right to own guns?”

I’m waiting for you to name some of the comics pros who are board members of national organizations that fight gun ownership rights.

Other than being openly active about it, I don’t see how Card is any different from the millions of others in the media, entertainment and literature industry who turn a blind eye towards the homosexual community other than to occasionally provide campy stereotypes as “token” tertiary characters because in meetings and brainstorms they all openly ACKNOWLEDGE and PERSIST in unison that gay is simply not protagonistic material. I don’t agree with Card at all, but at least he has the balls to be openly honest about what a rotten human being he is.

@George Caltsoudas

Actually, Card wasn’t that outspoken about his views on marriage and homosexuality. The only reason we know about them is because a gay activist fan posted them on the Internet.

Before that point, Card was like most comic book writers who don’t like clubbing readers on the head with their beliefs. They instead want to be judged on the quality of their work, which is as it should be.

SKFK wrote:

“I’m waiting for you to name some of the comics pros who are board members of national organizations that fight gun ownership rights.”

Actually, well known comic book creators ranging from Ron Marz to Peter David openly support gun control:

http://fourcolormedmon.blogspot.com/2012/12/why-do-comics-writers-whove-worked-on.html

So, is it a stretch that Red Comet could be right that these same creators send donations to gun control lobbyist groups?

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