All-Star

All-Star

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

One more

Let's just add this link to a Comics Alliance interview with the owner of Zeus Comics in Dallas, who says:

Let me pull back for a moment because you're speaking directly to choice, and I've seen the word "censor" and the phrase "freedom of speech" bandied about in regards to Orson Scott Card and his relationship to DC Comics and Superman. Card can say, write, blog, advocate whatever he wants. That does not mean that speech comes consequence free. Free speech and censorship relate to a government and its citizens. It does not directly apply to businesses and their relationships. Your employer decides your dress code, your hours, your work ethic and in particular the things you can and can not say to your peers or the business' customers. Businesses decide whether or not to hire or fire folks based on things discovered on their Facebook page, Twitter feed, even their appearance.
Now, Card has said some venomous things about the LGBT community and he advocates such through his relationship with NOM. In the same way Nike can drop Lance Armstrong because of his potential to hurt their brand, DC can drop Card because his hate speech towards a group is damaging to DC Comics and Superman. Card is contracted to write a Superman story. DC is under no obligation to publish or print that story in part or in whole. DC will edit that story, ask for rewrites and often dictate the content. For example, DC would not let Card's Superman drop the F-Bomb. Is it censorship of Card's story? It isn't. Its not Card's story. Its DC's story. They hired him and they can decide what to publish. Is it censorship if Zeus Comics decides not to carry the comic? It isn't. Each month, when ordering products through Diamond, I am making a decision whether or not to carry a comic based on values, quality of work, and its ability to sell. That's not censorship, that's capitalism.

Also, in print publishing, the comic shop is DC's customer. It's completely within our right to ask DC to remove Card and/or provide us with a product we can sell. If a writer's personal opinions are so contrary to my audience's values, their work won't sell. The coverage this last week about Card's near two decades of outspoken anti-gay bigotry and anti-gay activism have made Orson Scott Card toxic to Zeus' customers. In the end, it's really Card's outspoken animus for gay people that made the decision.


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