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Sometimes, fans of series get seriously annoyed when a movie adaption of their favorite book or comic stray too far from the original material. In the case of ‘The Hunger Games,‘ though, it’s actually the opposite.
When reading, people usually create their own mental images of what characters look like, and when the movie does not accurately represent how they imagined the characters to look, they complain. A number of fans did not think of some of the characters in the novel as being black, and are now angry with author Suzanna Collins and the producers of the film for casting black actors in important roles. African-American actors Lenny Kravitz and Dayo Okeniyi play Cinna and Thresh, respectively, while actress Amandla Stenberg takes up the role of Rue.
“Im still pissed that rue is black. Like you think se might have mentioned that…?” @LexieBrowning tweeted. But Suzanne Collins did bring it up in The Hunger Games. Rue is mentioned having “dark brown skin and eyes.”
The character Thresh is also described as having darker skin, but Cinna’s race was not mentioned in the trilogy.
Lexie is far from being the only person mad about the colored cast. The Tumblr Hunger Games Tweets has collected an ensemble of racist tweets directed toward Kravitz, Okeniyi and Stenberg.
Some comments were less offensive than others, with tweets ranging from the relatively innocent “Awkward moment when Rue is some black girl and not the innocent blonde girl you picture,” to more distasteful tweets. @Joe_Longley wrote, “EWW rue is black? I’m not watching.” Several others made use of the “N word” in their tweets. @maggie_mcd11 tweeted, “why does rue have to be black not gonna lie kinda ruined the movie.” The original user has since given up the account and a comedian is now at the helm of it, posting tweets making fun of the offensive tweet, such as, “Why does Herman Cain have to be black not gonna lie kinda ruined pizza.”
Some twitter account holders have at least shown some disappointment in themselves for their feelings towards the actors, “Kk call me racist but when i found out rue was black her death wasn’t as sad #ihatemyself,” wrote @Jashperparas.
Stenberg revealed in a statement given to Us Weekly the she would not let the tweets get her down.
“As a fan of the books, I feel fortunate to be part of ‘The Hunger Games’ family. It was an amazing experience. I am proud of the film and my performance. I want to thank all of my fans and the entire ‘Hunger Games’ community for their support and loyalty.”
Despite the outrage and disappointment of racist fans, The Hunger Games did spectacularly at the box office, raking in $155 million from the opening weekend, managing to have the third highest opening weekend after “The Dark Knight” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.”