If you were one of the millions who spent a couple hours this past weekend watching ‘The Hunger Games‘ you would notice that, gasp, there are black characters in the movie. Two notable black characters are Amandla Stenberg and Dayo Okeniyi who play Rue and Thresh, respectively.
In the popular book written by Suzanne Collins, Rue and Thresh are described as characters with dark brown skin. Quotes via Jezebel as imagined by Katniss played by Jennifer Lawrence,
…And most hauntingly, a twelve-year-old girl from District 11. She has dark brown skin and eyes, but other than that’s she’s very like Prim in size and demeanor…
Later, she sees Thresh:
…The boy tribute from District 11, Thresh, has the same dark skin as Rue, but the resemblance stops there. He’s one of the giants, probably six and half feet tall and built like an ox.
Somehow that description wasn’t fitting enough for a black person and it certainly wasn’t fitting for the young, gorgeous, black Rue who pulls at your heart strings with her story and a brutal death later on.
A tumblr for Hunger Games Tweets exposed the rantings of “fans” who need another lesson on drawing inferences
“Why does rue have to be black not gonna lie kinda ruined the movie.”
“Why is Rue a little black girl? Stick to the book, dude,” quipped another.
“I’m still pissed that Rue is black,” wrote another.
“Ewwww rue is black?? I’m not watching”
And perhaps the most disturbing of them all, “Why did the producer make all the good characters black?”
Not surprisingly the backlash began as early as last year when the posters were released with images of Rue and Cinna played by Lenny Kravitz. Racialicious did a great job of capturing the madness then too.
Are you surprised by the racist comments towards the casting of the black characters?