Racism Makes An Ugly Appearance In The Hunger Games‘ Fans

Posted by dalia.elramly & filed under Film, Pop Culture.

Photo courtesy of thehungergames.wikia.com
Photo courtesy of thehungergames.wikia.com

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The newest craze since Twilight and Harry Potter is the Hunger Games series. The series, like its predecessors, is very mind grabbing. It is a post-apocalyptic gladiator trilogy that is not censored and quite gory. The uniqueness of the series has allowed it to hit the big screens of Hollywood, and like the aforementioned novels it was a great success. But with any huge success, you are bond to have a few critics.

The release of the movie sparked a backlash from (mainly) teenage readers. Their comments, surprisingly, were geared towards the race of the actors picked to play certain characters. When reading The Hunger Games, those fans did not picture certain characters as being dark or black as they were portrayed in the movie. One tweet from a fan read, “Awkward moment when Rue is some black girl and not the little blonde innocent girl you picture.”

The skin color of most characters was included by Collins to help readers visualize the futuristic society. So clearly this girl—and the rest of the ‘racist’ fans—did not read the book in detail; Rue is described by Suzanne Collins as having “dark brown skin and eyes.”

What I don’t understand is why some fans were mad that Rue is black. Besides the fact that Collins described her having dark skin, these readers should realize that ‘innocence’ is not equated to solely white people.

Another twitter fan wrote, “kk call me racist but when I found out Rue was black her death wasn’t as sad #ihatemyself.” The racist comments stem from the fact that ‘coloured’ people are not represented very well in the media. Due to this cultural whitewashing, when we read books, we tend to imagine ‘white’ people. This is no way an excuse for the racist comments, but I am merely pointing out the deeper issue. Our subconscious equates certain ‘races’ with good and evil, innocence and treacherousness.

It is saddening that in such a multicultural country and globalizing world, we still have such racist comments prevailing. The blatant prejudice and racism should be dealt with in school but also the media needs to actively put in effort to better represent the demographics of the country.

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