“The Hunger Games” made a shatload of money this weekend at the box office ($155 million) but unfortunately a great film is almost being overshadowed by the overwhelmingly RACIST attitude some fans of the book have taken toward the casting of black actors in several of the main parts — even the ones who were described as having dark or brown skin in the book!
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.
We saw the movie this weekend and loved it — Amandla Stenburg (Rue) and Dayo Okenyiyi (Thresh) were two of our favorite actors and we think it’s a damned shame that haters are gonna hate as usual.More On Bossip!