The Thursday before The Avengers premiered, I put on my Captain America USO Girl costume and headed down to Madame Tussauds in New York’s Times Square. I had very little idea what I was going to be doing there and only went initially because a call for Marvel cosplayers (people who dress up as various characters) had been put out for a photo-op by the museum. They were about to open their Avengers exhibit. Admittedly, I was nervous, as cosplaying without the guarantee of a friendly face in your corner can be nerve-wracking. Fandom doesn’t always have its head screwed on straight when it comes to the touching, ogling, and respect of female cosplayers.
The crowd wasn’t exactly what I was expecting–and I mean that in the best way possible.
By Guest Contributor Ellen Oh, cross-posted from Hello Ello
Recently, there have been more Asians on TV than usual. This makes me happy because it is such a rare event. Spotting an Asian on TV always feels like trying to find Waldo. And when I do spot an Asian on TV or in the movies, I jump up and down and get overly excited, like I’ve spotted some rare species or mythical creature, like a unicorn or Big Foot.
So you can imagine my exuberance over watching the Knicks and Jeremy Lin. What’s not been so cool has been the media response to him. Lots of people have lots of opinions on him and race plays a huge factor in it all. Why? Because, like Asians on television shows and movies, Asian pro athletes are few and far between. Jeremy Lin’s performance is irrevocably linked to his race. He is considered an Asian “anomaly.” Let’s focus on that word “anomaly.” Meaning, “to deviate from the expected”–an irregularity. It is in this way that the media lifts up one man and backhands an entire race.
Asians have long been the silent minority in this country. It’s gotten so bad that when someone makes a racist remark toward Asians, they just shrug it off and make it seem like you’re the one making a big deal about nothing. Or they think it’s funny. Like a couple of white guys who think they are being clever by opening up a restaurant called “Roundeye Noodle shop” in Philadelphia. And then they are surprised when people get offended? The roots of that racist remark stem from Asians being called slanty-eyed chinks. If anyone thinks “Roundeye” is not racist, you should come explain that to my youngest daughter who had the singular pleasure of being told by two boys in her class that her “small Chinese eyes” were ugly compared to her friend’s “blue round-eyes.” She was in kindergarten and only 5 years old. She cried for days. Words can scar you for life.
Moments after Joel Ward’s overtime goal secured a playoff victory for the Washington Capitals over Boston last month, the twittersphere exploded with a barrage of racial epithets, threats of violence, and stereotypes.
Editor’s Note: Trigger Warning under the cut–pictures of racist slurs
By Guest Contributors Kendra James and Jordan St. John and Managing Editor Arturo R. García
In case you hadn’t guessed, the TV Correspondents here at The R watch a lot of television. Unfortunately, not everything of interest makes it into article form and, with that in mind we present the weekly TV Roundup: a catch all of televised pop culture tidbits that might not warrant a full column, but you still want to know about. Big SPOILER ALERT in place for the items under the cut.
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:
There were the usual complaints of actors not meeting book loyalist expectations. However, among the usual complaints of “She doesn’t look as young as I thought” or “Where are Effie’s pink curls?” There was a different kind of shock and surprise toward Rue & Cinna, who will be played by Amandla Stenberg and Lenny Kravitz, respectively.
”And most hauntingly, a twelve-year-old girl from District 11. She has dark brown skin and eyes, but other than that, she’s very like Prim in size and demeanor.“―Katniss Everdeen, while watching Rue’s reaping
She is 12 years old, with dark brown hair, skin, and “golden brown” eyes.
Rue is pretty clearly described as African-American which has been confirmed by director Garry Ross and author Suzanne Collins.
Entertainment Weekly: In the books, Katniss is described as being olive-skinned, dark-haired, possibly biracial. Did you discuss with Suzanne the implications of casting a blond, caucasian girl? Ross: Suzanne and I talked about that as well. There are certain things that are very clear in the book. Rue is African-American. Thresh is African-American.
So then, why did comments like these show up on the Hunger Games Facebook when Rue’s poster was posted? (SPOILER ALERT: IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOKS, STOP AT GRACE’S COMMENT.)
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”:
My corner of the blogosphere erupted last week with the announcement that Jennifer Lawrence will play Katniss in the upcoming film versions of The Hunger Games trilogy. I agree with a lot of the outrage, and found editorials like this one, obviously written by someone who has never read the book, infuriating. So let’s lay it all out on the table.
Why are so many people so upset about this announcement? It’s just a movie, right?