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    The good news? The Hunger Games made $155 million at the box office its opening weekend, making it the third-best debut in North American box office history. The bad news, however, reflects a level of idiocy that we werent really expecting.

    , Only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and The Dark Knight — both sequels, with the strength of a franchise behind each — recorded bigger opening weekends. Plus, unlike those two flicks, Hunger Games was written by a woman and stars a woman — a true lady-centric blockbuster franchise.

    Now as you may know, Katniss, the main character in the book and film, was described as having straight black hair and olive skin. Its a post-apocalyptic world, so she could be a mix of things, but some pictured a Native American. Blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jennifer Lawrence won the part and dyed her hair dark.

    But when it came to the casting of Rue, Thresh, and Cinna, many audience members did not understand why there were black actors playing those parts. Cinnas skin is not discussed in the book, so truthfully, though Lenny Kravitz was cast, a white, Asian or Latino actor could have played the part.

     has collected a smattering of Twitter postings, with the goal of exposing Hunger Games fans on Twitter who dare to call themselves fans yet dont know a damn thing about the books. What people are saying is disappointing, sad, stomach-churning, and just plain racist.

    The posts go on and on and on. Its not just a coupe of tweets, its not just a coincidence. Theres an underlying rage, coming out as overt prejudice and plain old racism. Sternberg is called a black bitch, a n****r and one person writes that though he pictured Rue with darker skin, he didnt really take it all the way to black. Its as if that is the worst possible thing a person could be. As the person who runs the tumblr writes:

    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 theyd created in their minds. A girl that they knew they could love and adore and mourn at the thought of knowing that shes been brutally killed.

    And then the casting is revealed (or they go see the movie) and theyre shocked to see that Rue is black. Now… this is so much more than, Oh, shes 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 theyre angry. Wasted tears, wasted emotions. Its sad to think that had they known that she was black all along, there would have been sorrow or sadness over her death.

    About a year ago I was talking to a few of you about how I wanted to work on a fiction novel which takes place in a fantasy world which combined steampunk elements to that of a story with elves, orcs, dragons and so on.  I went on ad on talking about this story and the fantastical world I had created in my mind when a few of you then asked on the chat session: what colour will the heroes be?

    Because I hadnt even thought about what colour they would be and it hadnt even mattered in my mind but I was shaken out of my peace and perhaps naivete  by being confronted with the fact that to other people, their racial politics, needs, beliefs and desires would have to play a part in their ability to enjoy the story.

    I dont want to write a story about race, I want to write a good story. I dont want it to matter if the lead heroine is white or black, I dont want it to matter that the High Elves in my story are NOT all pale skinned with white hair but of varying skin tones.

    But the sad part is that is does. Why? Because  as readers and watchers of fiction, we subconsciously want to be able to relate to characters in meaningful ways and that in itself is not a problem. Unlike the mainstream reader/movie-goer, we people of ethnic decent are more than accustomed to having to enjoy works where we are not represented in the main characters of a story but are more apt to accepting the fact those who look like us will be secondary characters with perhaps some key plot points but still not be the main focus.  Those are spots saved for whites.  This is not opinion. its fact.  The majority of whites do not pick up books or go to movies where they are not featured as the lead.  Its not even intentional really so please dont think that I am chastising you for any direct racism. Please.   Its less a matter of racism and more a direct result of you noticing something that goes against your privilege that you have come to enjoy as a white person. You dont notice it until its not there.

    It is a shame that we cant have more leading roles with people of colour in it. a shame that we cant have more romances featuring people of different ethnici backgrounds without it causing some big controversy. Frankly sometimes we as people are just sad and small little creatures.

    *I wanna die in the Presidential Suite at MGM Grand with twenty Chippendale hooker-boys and a tub filled with cocaine and vodka while Beyonce is singing suga mama to me in a loop in a non-judgemental way .

    Sigh I hate my fellow white girls sometimes. If your gona toss your hair then own it beatch , dont giggle and act ashamed. A sister woulda snaped and and been proud after a pose like that. I swear every white becky needs a big mamma in their life.

    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 theyd created in their minds. A girl that they knew they could love and adore and mourn at the thought of knowing that shes been brutally killed.

    And then the casting is revealed (or they go see the movie) and theyre shocked to see that Rue is black. Now this is so much more than, Oh, shes 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 theyre angry. Wasted tears, wasted emotions. Its sad to think that had they known that she was black all along, there would have been sorrow or sadness over her death.

    This actually opened up my mind on the movie Hunger games; besides the Battle Royale rip-off aspect (and their denial of it), From the previews and marketing, I thought it was just going to be yet another movie where a majority of the main cast were Caucasian. This reminds me why I hate having a judgment without seeing things out for myself.. Now I find myself interested in checking it out. A part of me thinks its still kinda sad that Im now willing to go see it after learning that not all the characters are predictably Caucasian like I imagined.

    Its a shame there are folks out there who believe in such things concerning those characters. But it also supports a nagging sadness Ive been developing concerning main-stream storytelling; like why there arent a more diverse selection of lead characters (hell, casting overall).

    This was pretty much my reason for not caring about the books nor the movie. I already saw Battle Royale, I didnt really care to see it re-written for the Abercrombie Fitch crowd. Kind of like how I didnt like The Departed for being a near scene-for-scene ripoff of Internal Affairs.

    Its the fact that the author denied even knowing about Battle Royale existed that made me really lose any respect I could have of her and the main difference of hunger games. I dont see how at least her publishers could of missed it.

    If they were honest and said something like its a different take on the Battle Royale concept, and maybe if i saw they had something like that in the credits, then I would accept it more.

    A few years ago Wanna wrote a full length novel that she shopped around to publishers who told her that the story was great but that it might be better if she not so blatantly copy from another author whose work has become VERY famous.

    Wanna had literally never read a single page of this authors work, but everyone she shopped the story to said the same thing, that it felt like a blatant rip off of xyz novel.. even though not a single noun or verb of this authors works had Wanna read.

    Its unfortunate that happen to Wanna. I can see how the author didnt know; but what made me think to dismiss that reasoning, was her publishers. Like in the situation you described, I was thinking that the publishers would definitely know if it was similar to another story. Least of all to Battle Royale.

    Yea, I thought I was the only one too that thought this movie looked like Battle Royale. I havent seen the movie but I did read the manga and loved it. Dont think Ill be going to see or read Hunger Games though

    The Battle Royale movies is okay, but its the comic that Im in love with. The movies REALLY dont do it justice at all. I suggest looking up the fan translations rather than read the official adaptation; cause the writing is horrendous. So bad I had to stop and just read some of it raw.

    Honestly, I think I still have to see the hunger games movie to hold a complete conversation on the rip-off aspects; but from all I do know right now, the basic premise is in fact a rip. But as mentioned, Ill see just how much when I actually check it out for myself.

    Id say I can shrug it off most of the time. Since I do love seeing new takes on old ideas. I think if its more than a certain percent of similarities (like more than 60 maybe), for the life of me, I cant shrug it off on some things. Sometimes I wish I could, just so I canenjoy it for what it is.

    Waitthat sounds like a movie with Fred Durst. The town believes that keeping the population at a magic number ensures their success, so they kill one citizen for every new one thats born/moved in. The townspeople are usually happy to die too, for the sake of the town.

    I definitely suggest you read The Hunger Games before you form an opinion, I just read the synopsis to Battle Royale (which Id never heard of before right this moment) and while its similar, theres way more to the book than just some kids fight each other to the death.

    I definitely agree; reading the book would bring some validity to my current thoughts that are simply based on some research. Actually, I should read the Battle Royale novel as well. Thats why I take my current thoughts lightly for the most part; its mainly based on the basis of both stories, rather than the meat of either concerning their media variations. I know for sure both of their perspectives are different from each other though; Battle Royale (the comic anyway) focuses on the personal drama with the characters backgrounds, rather than explore the society issues as I was told Hunger games (novel) does.

    I read the Battle Royale comic, but Im unsure on just how closely it follows the novel. I do think that Battle Royale (comic) is more than just kids killing each other, unlike its movie version. I dont think one should use the BA movies to compare with HG at all actually.

    As for media projects with POC casts of characters we can have them. They might not get much if any mainstream attention, but Ill support them as long as I know theyre out there and I can access them. Im at the point where the mainstream Powers That Be can kiss my entire ass.

    Ive started to prepare myself to just be pissed off when I come to this blog lately. Im pissed off that Im actually amazed at the absolute evilness and stupidity that lives among us.

    I cant help it. Between the travesty of Trayvonand this sh*t.i just shake my head at people. I dont understand WHYYYYYYYY people even care? Why the f*ck do you CARE if a character is black or white? To be honestI dont even think I thought about it. All I remember from the book is that she was younger and smaller than everyone else. I see her as black on the screenbut it didnt even register with me. I just saw them eyes. Them big ol adorable and beautiful eyes. Im not tryin to portray myself as some perfect human being that walks around with a halobut I swear to baby Jesus the color of this character did not EVER even enter my atmosphere of giving a damn about. And who CARES what color Cinna is? Its goddamn LENNY KRAVITZ! Im just disgusted.

    SoWhen I read the book, I figured Rue and the other District 11 tribute would be of color, because the book mentioned they had darker skin. What I was discussing with my daughter a few months back was the interesting point that the darker skin folks are in District 11 which is the Agricultural District. They work in the fields picking grain and cotton.

    So these folks are worried about Rue being portrayed in the movie as a young lady of color instead of having a well thought out discussion on why the district with the color folks is the district that picks the cotton and grain.but I digress.

    In book 2 when they are on the tour Katniss gives a brief description of how all the people she sees in the audience in D11 look like Rue. When I read it I actually pictured one of the McClain sisters (from the TP movie Daddys Little Girl) as Rue. But shes too old for that now

    Yes. Thats where the song comes from. The people in District 11 sing the song so the Mockingjay can pick it up and repeat it so those that work in the fields know its time to eat or go home.

    They worked the fields. I dont recall any mention of them picking cotton. I doubt the book would have made it to print like that. District 12s mayors daughter was placed in the lottery as well. Safe too say there may be some higher up blacks in District 11. Doubt all the blacks worked the field.

    Susan Collins, the writer, isnt endorsing a return to slavery. Everyone outside of the Capitol are slaves, except for a district or two that are treated well (where the scientists and the luxury goods makers live is nice. But the other districts rebelled so theyre basically enslaved. The reason so many people of color are in that district youre talking about is because it used to be known as the deep South, LOL.)

    I dont rememberbut there were quite a few people I pictured as darker/not just plain white people. I mean, she even talks about blue skinned people and stuff. I definitely felt like the book had all kinds of people in it.

    This here is what has me rethinking my own book. I love to read but as Slaus said. We dont have the luxury of black protagonists. I would love for my book to do as well as the Hunger Games but there is a truth to be held. The hollywood and the publishing world are not kind to us. Heres hoping for a long career.

    Nope. Not a bit. I keep thinking back to Neil Gaiman and the Anansi Boys when shyt like this hits the fan. There could have been an Anansi Boys movie, if only he was willing to change the main characters from black to white. *side-eyes the unnamed studio* Also, lets not forget the Airbender fiasco. Thanks to that, I was fresh out of phucks to give when Idris Elba got cast as a Norse god.

    Exact reason why Im not going to bother pushing for a movie. Ill be happy to get any kind of deal but if they dare try to change my characters, Im leaving the table. I wrote a book for everyone but specifically for those of color. I loved Rue in the Hunger Games and even teared up a bit when she died. It wasnt because she was black but because she felt like a little sister. I just hope I can get enough readers to gloss over my Thick afro, dark skin protagonist.

    I havent read the book, but my niece had to for her school curriculum, and shes been waiting to see this movie so I went and enjoyed it with her this weekend. Before they got to the Capitol all I saw were faces that didnt look like mine, so I leaned over and asked her if when theyd gotten rid of all of US after whatever major event happened. then I saw Rue, Thresh and Cinna and I said.. Oh so there are some of US in this world. And then I began to really pay attention to the movie, and I actually forgot about colors, because of all the brutal killing going on in the film, and everyone just became a person. And when I got sad b/c of Rues death, it was b/c that sweet little girl had to die, not black or white or anything else. But that another CHILD had to die, after theyd already killed the other lil boy child.

    Hi OHN, Ive been a lurker for over 2 years. I just had to comment here. I love yall but ummm I know the movie is old but this sad little incident doesnt surprise me, it further disheartens me and make me angry, diappointed and just plain baffled at the deep rooted racism that is alive and well in this country but..erummm..no one mentioned this but This reminds me of the pivotal court scene in A TIME TO KILL when after describing the horrible and brutal rape of an innocent little girl to the jury the defense lawyer who represented the girls father for killin the sons of bytches.said now imagine she was white

    Word. My point exactly its like his client told himlook I picked you cuz you just like them. Its 2012 and we still talking about the sdme ole shyt. Perhaps this 12/21/12 hype is s good thing. I give up lol. Thnks for replying to an unkown lurker. U made me just calm enuff not to smack the red off of my melanin challenged coworker eho said to someone on the phone it was a good movie but Rue was a black girl I almost lost my job today Ohn. Ima go read some of yalls chernanigans n fvggery to lighten my mood. ::skips back to lurker corner::

    Oh yeah(most) of the story lines fit a narrative that feeds what youve been reading. Obviously not this moviebut when it comes to entertainmentI find it easy to toss the baby out with the bathwater.(figuratively speaking)



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