Racist "Hunger Games" Fans Tweet Shock that Black Characters from Book Are Black in Film
“The Hunger Games” earned over $155 million in North America over the weekend. The sci-fi film based on the novel written by Suzanne Collins broke several box office records this weekend, including the strongest opening weekend ever for a spring release.
Audiences on opening night praised “Hunger Games.” Filmgoers under the age 25 gave it a glowing A+ and those over 25 an A-, according to CinemaScore, the market research firm that surveys film audiences. Thirty-nine percent of the audience was younger than 18, according to CinemaScore exit polling.
“What separates “The Hunger Games” from the usual apocalyptic-teen-gladiator fare is its smart take on class and inequality, and its honest depiction of race as an integral party of that story,” said Channing Kennedy, Colorlines.com’s Community Manager. “While the movie adaptation isn’t entirely free of ‘racebending,’ it’s definitely worthy of praise.”
However there are people who aren’t happy some of the characters in the film are black—even though their characters in the novel were described as having “dark skin.”
“Why does Rue have to be black not gonna lie kinda ruined the movie,” wrote Maggie McDonell on Twitter.
Dodai Stewart pointed out on Jezebel.com that two of the characters people have taken to Twitter to complain about how dark they are is exactly how Collins, the author, imagined.
On page 45, Collins describes the character 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.
Collins goes on to describe 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.
“Call me racist but when I found out Rue was black her death wasn’t as sad,” wrote Jasper Paras on Twitter. He added the hashtag “#ihatemyself.”
Variations of the same prejudice tweets have been collected at HungerGamesTweets.tumblr.com.
“The fact that readers are upset that the black characters are black is troubling, to say the least; the entitlement they’re expressing is an indicator of how ingrained Hollywood homogeneity has become, even for the movies that play in kids’ heads as they read,” Channing Kennedy went on to say.