US: Human rights groups call for removal of anti-gay writer from public TV board

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A human rights group has called for the sacking of anti-gay writer Orson Scott Card, from his new position as a board member at a US university’s public television channel, after he compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler.

Progress North Carolina Action has launched an online petition to have state Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, remove Card from the two-year advisory role at the University of North Carolina’s public television board, reports the Huffington Post.

The group said:”Last week, Sen. Phil Berger appointed a guy to the UNC -TV Board of Trustees who compared President Obama to Hitler. Just four months ago, Orson Scott Card, a writer from Greensboro, wrote, ‘Like Hitler, he [Obama] needs a powerful domestic army to terrify any opposition that might arise.’

“Can you believe it? This guy who compares the President of the United States to Adolf Hitler is about to help oversee North Carolina’s public television station. This is unacceptable and we need to let Sen. Berger know it.”

The opinion piece was originally published by a local newspaper, and was picked up by the Orenery American. It calls Obama “by character and preference, a dictator.”

Card drew comparisons with several historical dictators, saying: “Like Augustus Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolph [sic] Hitler, and Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama could become lifetime dictator without any serious internal opposition.”

Responding to the controversy last week, Card spoke to the university’s Daily Tar Hell to say that his opinions were “within the mainstream of political thought in North Carolina.”

“When people see what I’ve actually wrote, they will realize my views have been deliberately misrepresented in order to punish me for being on the wrong side of certain political issues,” he said.

Earlier this year an online campaign urged moviegoers to boycott the upcoming release of “Ender’s Game,” a big-budget Hollywood movie based on the work of notoriously anti-gay novelist Card, who last year described same-sex attraction as a “reproductive dysfunction”.

Comic giant DC Comics was also heavily criticised for its decision to hire Card to write the first two instalments of its new digital-first comic, Adventures of Superman. Some fans called for a boycott of the company, and of the comic.