Race controversy over ‘The Hunger Games’
Lenny Kravitz (left) as Cinna and Amandla Sternberg as Rue (right)
The frenzy has focused on three characters in particular: Rue (Amandla Sternberg) and Thresh (Dayo Okeniyi), the child tributes from District 11, as well as Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), the stylist assigned to Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), the movie's archer-heroine. In a curious twist of reading comprehension failure and racism, a few tweets have made the public rounds:
"why does rue have to be black gonna lie kinda ruined the movie."
"Kk call me racist but when I found out rue was black her death wasn't as sad. #ihatemyself."
"Awkward moment when Rue is some black girl and not the little blonde innocent girl you picture."
The casting issue surfaced late last year, after the character posters were released. Racialious guest contributor noted the reactions posted on "The Hunger Games" Facebook page: "Everything from the innocuous 'She's not how I pictured her' to 'I was all sad and like 'she's black!'"
Since the tweets have been collected, called out, and condemned, some of the accounts have disappeared, and a countertweet defense movement launched. One poster took over one deleted account to come up with satirical variations: "why does Frederick Douglass have to be black not gonna lie kinda ruined abolition" and "why does the Harlem Renaissance have to be black not gonna lie kinda ruined the New Negro Movement."
One apology did come through: After admitting to tweeting "cinna and rue werent suppose to be black... Why did the producer make all the good characters black," the poster later wrote "it worded everything wrong and was high when i posted that tweet. i didn't mean to offend people."
Faithful to the book?
Dayo Okeniyi plays Thresh
[Related: The Politics of "The Hunger Games"]