By Arturo R. García
Yesterday, Moviefone’s Gabrielle Dunn wrote that this image of Jennifer Lawrence in character as Katniss Everdeen from the planned Hunger Games movie adaptation “calmed” any concerns about her casting. We beg to differ.
To be fair, Ms. Dunn was referring more to questions about the 20-year-old Lawrence playing a 16-year-old character. But the concerns regarding a white, blonde actress being hired to play a character many fans considered to be multi-racial won’t go away soon, as Racebending’s Michael Le illustrated on Twitter:
Meanwhile, movie blogger Ms. Go identified Lawrence’s unspoken “co-star”:
This isn’t to diminish Lawrence’s talents, but it’s not hard to figure that she required some cosmetic help to play Katniss, because even accounting for camera discrepancies, her skin tone on that Entertainment Weekly cover does not match the one seen in this picture she took for Elle:
Both the film’s director, Gary Ross, and Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins have gone out of their way to assure both fans of the book series and potential audiences that Lawrence is the only person who could play Katniss. But the truth is, while Katniss’ ethnicity was undefined in the books, the casting call for the movie called for Caucasian actresses from the get-go. That would seem to contradict Ross’ statement to EW that there was no “doctrine” regarding the character’s race.
The truth is, the doctrine has always been there in Hollywood, and – again, through no fault of Lawrence’s – it’s designed to give people like her a pass. And those concerns should not be ignored by anyone anymore.
About This BlogRacialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable
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Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.
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