By Arturo R. García
As you’ll recall, Nerdgasm Noire’s Roxie Moxie shared this column about the problematic reactions to the casting of Lenny Kravitz and Amandla Stenberg in the film adaptation of The Hunger Games, the opening chapter of which has gone on to post an opening weekend take of more than $155 million at the box office.
Here’s a sample of how some fans took the news that Kravitz would be playing Cinna:
That was five months ago. In the wake of the film’s strong opening, the disappointment–and sometimes outright anger–of more fans has been pushed further into the spotlight.
Not long after the film opened, there were enough of these kinds of reactions floating around online to populate a Tumblr (which should be read with a Trigger Warning for slurs):
After visiting the page, The American Prospect’s Jamelle Bouie told Racialicious Monday he was inspired to seek out more of those kinds of tweets and repost them on his own account:
As Hunger Games Tumblr’s author observed, these types of entitled outlooks didn’t just come out of nowhere:
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 so 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.
The question now is, how will this “smart bunch” address this issue, if at all?