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Racist Hunger Games Fans Are Very Disappointed (participation)

March 27, 2012

Racist Hunger Games Fans Are Very Disappointed

The good news? The Hunger Games made $155 million at the box office its opening weekend, making it the third-best debut in North American box office history. The bad news, however, reflects a level of idiocy that we weren’t really expecting.

As CNN reports, “Only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and The Dark Knight — both sequels, with the strength of a franchise behind each — recorded bigger opening weekends.” Plus, unlike those two flicks, Hunger Games was written by a woman and stars a woman (much as we love JK Rowling, her series isn’t named after Hermione) — making it a true lady-centric blockbuster franchise.

Now as you may know, Katniss, the main character in the book and film, was described as having “straight black hair” and “olive skin.” It’s a post-apocalyptic world, so she could be a mix of things, but some pictured a Native American. Blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jennifer Lawrence won the part and dyed her hair dark.

But when it came to the casting of Rue, Thresh, and Cinna, many audience members did not understand why there were black actors playing those parts. Cinna’s skin is not discussed in the book, so truthfully, though Lenny Kravitz was cast, a white, Asian or Latino actor could have played the part.

But. On page 45 of Suzanne Collins’s book, Katniss sees Rue for the first time:

…And most hauntingly, a twelve-year-old girl from District 11. She has dark brown skin and eyes, but other than that’s she’s very like Prim in size and demeanor…

Later, she sees Thresh:

The boy tribute from District 11, Thresh, has the same dark skin as Rue, but the resemblance stops there. He’s one of the giants, probably six and half feet tall and built like an ox.

Dark skin. That is what the novelist, the creator of the series, specified. But there were plenty of audience members who were “shocked,” or confused, or just plain angry.

The tumblr Hunger Games Tweets has collected a smattering of Twitter postings, with the goal of exposing “Hunger Games fans on Twitter who dare to call themselves fans yet don’t know a damn thing about the books.” What people are saying is disappointing, sad, stomach-churning, and just plain racist.

This young woman considered the movie “ruined.”

This girl wants to know why they “made all the good characters black.” Good people cannot possibly be black. Black people are villainous. Duh.

“Stick to the book dude.” Read the book again, carefully this time, dude.

At least this person had the good sense to hate himself.

The actress Amandla Stenberg literally looks like a tiny angel, but this movie-goer equates blonde with innocence. A little black girl is not automatically innocent, no. Only a little white girl. Actually, only a blonde.

Racist Hunger Games Fans Are Very DisappointedThe posts go on and on and on. It’s not just a coupe of tweets, it’s not just a coincidence. There’s an underlying rage, coming out as overt prejudice and plain old racism. Sternberg is called a “black bitch,” a “nigger” and one person writes that though he pictured Rue with “darker skin,” he “didn’t really take it all the way to black.” It’s as if that is the worst possible thing a person could be. As the person who runs the tumblr writes:

Here’s what scares me…

All these… people… read the Hunger Games. Clearly, they all fell in love with and cared about Rue. Though what they really fell in love with was an image of Rue that they’d created in their minds. A girl that they knew they could love and adore and mourn at the thought of knowing that she’s been brutally killed.

And then the casting is revealed (or they go see the movie) and they’re shocked to see that Rue is black. Now… this is so much more than, “Oh, she’s bigger than I thought”. The reactions are all based on feelings of disgust.

These people are MAD that the girl that they cried over while reading the book was “some black girl” all along. So now they’re angry. Wasted tears, wasted emotions. It’s sad to think that had they known that she was black all along, there would have been [no] sorrow or sadness over her death.

There are MAJOR TIE-INS to these reactions and the injustices that we see around the world today. I don’t even need to spell it out because I know that you’re all a smart bunch.

This is a BIG problem. Think of all the murdered children. Think of all the missing children that get NO SCREEN TIME on the news.

It is NOT a coincidence.

THIS is the purpose of my blog… and to also point out shitty reading comprehension. LOL

Update: As of 7:00 PM, it looks like the vast majority of these insightful folks have either shut down their Twitter accounts or made them private. Au revoir.

From: Racist Hunger Games Fans Are Very Disappointed.

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8 Comments
  1. Amy Leonard permalink

    The fact that people are so upset about the fact that the characters Rue, Thresh, and Cinna in the Hunger Games cast are black is absolutely ridiculous and embarrassing for our world. I read the Hunger Games and loved them, and in my head I pictured Rue, Thresh, and Cinna all to be black! They were all described in the books as having dark skin. I am appalled at all the tweets, comments, and complaints. A person is a person no matter their skin color, I’ve always believed that and comments like those make me so enraged.
    Racist viewers and readers just wanted to believe their favorite characters were white and “good” like them, which is embarrassing for them. Those people should be ashamed. How horrible is it that people have this image in their head of what is “good” and it is always a white person? How do we go about changing this? I don’t know the answer but it needs to happen.

  2. Olivia Newhouse permalink

    I have read the books and when I went and saw the movie on Sunday I wasn’t surprised or let down that the tributes from district 11 were black and so when I read this article I don’t understand the significance of why people liked the character less because of it… The director obviously understood the author’s description of the two tributes having “brown skin” but I don’t think this should change the way people view Rue or how sweet of a character she is.

  3. Madison Magliocca permalink

    I have read the hunger game books and saw the movie, and I loved both of them. When people read books they have different perceptions as to how the characters look and Hollywood isn’t going to be able to make everyone happy. Whether Rue is black or white, she is still the same character and plays the same part.
    It’s embarrassing to me that people focus so much in these minuscule things that truly don’t matter, instead of focusing on issues that impact our everyday lives. Yes Rue was black in the movie and she played her part well, do people truly believe that the movie would have been better if the characters were white? People need to stop having such narrow minded views of what is “good” and “bad”

  4. Kyla Chappell permalink

    I have never read the Hunger Games books nor did I see the movie, so I may not have quite the connection these people have to the characters. But I mean, I have read books before, and I have been surprised going to see the movie and how the characters in my mind don’t match the characters on the screen. Although, this did not fill me with rage as it obviously did with these people. I am really stunned to see all these horrible, racist posts from people who claimed to have such love for the book and this character Rue. I can’t even comprehend how or why it is so bad to have a black girl play a role instead of a white girl???

  5. Maddie Steiner permalink

    Reading this article makes me so angry. I am a huge fan of the Hunger Games, but unlike the people in the article I read the book carefully and knew the Rue was supposed to be black, so I was not surprised when she was in the movie. Regardless if she was supposed to be or not, it does not change her character at all. The actress that played Rue did an excellent job and she was still a lovable character. It makes me sad that people are so angry about this detail (that they chose to ignore in the book) that it ruins their whole perception of the movie. I thought the movie was really good and the actors portrayed their characters very well, no matter what skin color they were. People need to stop being so narrow minded and realize all kinds of people can be heroes in a story.

  6. Aaron Verhei permalink

    After looking over this article the only thing that pops to my mind is the fact that this is what we have been talking about in our class about stereotyping. Everyone of those twitters post are what the person has thought of what it should be in there head and when they saw it they got mad. They all saw something else. We all like to say that racism doesn’t exist anymore and that we have all changed but these people clearly show us that racism is still a problem. I personally haven’t read the book or seen the movie but i have seen other movies where i didn’t think that is what a character was going to look at but i never got mad. It is all one persons imagination versus another. These people just took it to far by making racist comments.

  7. Brittany Dyess permalink

    The fact that people were REALLY upset about it makes me mad..all the comments from twitter were disgusting and Im kind of at loss for words..I wish I could engage In this post more, but I cant…

  8. Mallory Nagel permalink

    The response of fans actually shocked me. As a person who has read The Hunger Games I cannot understand why people are upset. These actors were chosen because they were seen as best fit for the roles and they did a phenomenal job. Why does it really matter their race? Amandla (the actress who portrayed Rue) flawlessly embodies an innocent child much too young to be fighting for her life. This racist comments are disgusting.

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