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The Hunger Games – Is there a race controversy?

No. There is not. Just a few oblivious boneheads who have decided to use social media to incite a virtual riot.


I read “Race Controversy Over ‘The Hunger Games’” and I was summarily floored. I guess I didn’t get the weekly memo things had regressed to the 1960’s with regard to Suzanne Collins adaptation of her book.

The article focuses on “the frenzy” surrounding the roles of Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) and District 11 tributes Rue (Amandla Sternberg) and Thresh (Dayo Okeniyi). (Apparently, the castings for these parts are what got things twitchy.) First of all, this is the first I’ve heard of any “controversy” … and it’s now Tuesday, 5 days after the film debuted. Before today, I hadn’t caught wind of any “news” about the kerfuffle, I hadn’t read anything on-line (until I glimpsed the aforementioned article earlier today) and no one who has discussed the movie has said word one about any fall-out regarding the actors. So … where is all this “frenzy” the article is talking about? Because it seems to be contained within the article itself, such that it is, and that’s it. That’s my first question. And I’m certain no one is going to be able to answer that question because — Hello! — there isn’t any frenzy.

With regard to the players in the game, had not the inane, idiotic social media blips noted the piece had been put out there in the first place this wouldn’t be an issue at all. The “frenzy” surrounding Kravitz, Sternberg and Okeniyi in their film roles wouldn’t be noticed by the vast majority of the populace. Nor would it make any difference.

And here’s what I blame it on, folks: Ignorance. Because ignorance truly is bliss as Thomas Gray’s “Ode On A Distant Prospect Of Eton College” purported. Add to that the mindless and imbecilic proclivities of folks who prefer to use emoticons and acronyms and “whatevers” to respond to situations or make an argument or just to throw something out there and you have a nice little wrench tossed in the machine contributing to the decline of western civilization.

Can you tell I’m just a mite pissed off after reading that article? Because it’s a non-issue. It doesn’t make any difference. It’s succeeded at lending some controversial weight to a couple people who have decided to think before speaking, releasing a torrent of flaming comments from others who know better yet still get sucked into the downward spiral of a few missives written (poorly) by boneheads.

And you could very well conclude I’m doing the exact same thing here: Adding to a frenzy that isn’t. But I have a little more invested into the method of my madness. And that is this: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

You see, we’re always (yes, always) going to be running into Bozo noses who spew insipid little 140-character diatribes which are going to yank the chain of some people. It’s just a matter of how those diatribes are responded to.

Sometimes it’s better just to let them lie there and walk away rather than try to make sense of them. Because, really, there is no sense to them. (But I’m realistic — I also know it can be difficult to walk away without putting in your two cents.)

The Hunger Games castings are just fine the way they are. The people who have a problem with them are not.

Take heart in the knowledge you aren’t ignorant of that fact.

[easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”0545405777″ locale=”us” height=”140″ src=”” width=”160″] [easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”0545265355″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”” width=”119″]

Photo Credit: Scott Adams

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Categories: Features, General, News

15 Responses to “The Hunger Games – Is there a race controversy?”

March 27, 2012 at 7:50 PM

At the risk of starting a political debate, as a country, we regressed to the 1960s on the race issue when a man named Barack Obama started running for president. Since his election, we’ve regressed to the 1860s thanks to the same type of minds who find the casting in The Hunger Games “controversial” (read: offensive). As enlightened as we like to think people are in the 21st century, I doubt we’ll ever have the kind of future Gene Roddenberry hoped for, not even in the 23rd century.

March 28, 2012 at 10:10 AM

I dunno, Chuck, I think you’re spinning to much into it. People are stupid … there’s a bell curve that tracks stupidity in humanity, as far as I’m concerned. Social media gives people an opportunity to be publicly stupid on a global scale, instead of in their smaller social circles.

I mean, in this particular instance, these are people who’s reading comprehension is so poor that they didn’t catch that the characters weren’t white in the books … what do you expect?

March 28, 2012 at 2:49 PM

I guess that sums it up–People are stupid and their stupid world has grown exponentially with the World Wide Web. I will keep that in mind and continue to do without a twitter account and without any social media account. My studpidness will be limited to my household and a handful of close friends. LOL

March 27, 2012 at 8:08 PM

This is stupid.

March 27, 2012 at 8:09 PM

I remember going into the movie Holes imagining the character of Zero as a little white kid. The kid in the movie was a little black kid. I went, “Oh!” and then watched the movie, which I enjoyed. THE END

March 28, 2012 at 10:17 AM

I think the argument that the hunger wasn’t focused on in general can be a legitimate argument (from what I’ve been told, it’s a huge part of the books but is sort of glanced over in the movie), but do we really need to complain about the young female protagonist not being anorexic thin?

March 30, 2012 at 6:03 PM

I must confess that I was thinking this while watching the movie (i.e., that Jennifer Lawrence was perfect as Katniss, except that she looks as well-fed as the career tributes).

I would never want Lawrence to starve herself for the role. She looks fantastic and healthy. For the movie, however, I thought they could have done something with makeup to make her face look “hungrier” since she was supposed to be starving and that’s why these are called the Hunger Games, not the Poverty Games or the Oppression Games. The prize is food for your district! :-)

But it really did not diminish my enjoyment of the movie.

April 2, 2012 at 9:03 AM

I think they could have made everyone in the poor districts look hungrier, though. I didn’t find it as distracting for Katniss alone because everyone in her town looked pretty healthy.

March 27, 2012 at 8:25 PM

It’s ridiculous. Rue and Thresh’s characters are described as having very dark skin. What did people expect? Super tan blondes? Why does it even matter? Once I saw Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, I couldn’t even remember how he was described in the book. It makes me ill that people still can’t see past color to a person’s more important attributes. Bleh.

March 27, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Sometimes I think social media communications are called “tweets” because they are made by twits. ‘Nuff said.

March 27, 2012 at 10:13 PM

Whaaaat?? Cinna, Thresh, and Rue were all amazing. I don’t see why everyone is freaking out about the fact that they’re not white. When I read about Thresh and Cinna, I pictured them black. And Rue is just adorable. I don’t see why it’s a controversy…

March 28, 2012 at 10:12 AM

I was far more worried about Kravitz being able to act because he’s a singer … and he did a good job. Actually, pretty much everyone across the board had a strong performance, especially the kids.

March 28, 2012 at 9:36 PM

It doesn’t look like the author claimed that riots happened in the street, but recounted twitter action, that had not hit mainstream media.

The post didn’t turn the casting into a racial issue so much as the tweeters themselves. So, the post shouldn’t anger you as much as the twitterers.

The problem is when you walk away and don’t correct throwback views, the people feel what they’ve stated is correct and, will continue to espouse them in the future with greater emotion. So, walking away isn’t the option. A couple days ago, I saw a couple kids force a homeless man do push-ups for $10 while they videotaped him. When I confronted them, they basically said MYOB. What makes me sad is everyone walked away from the man undergoing humiliation so the kids thought what they did was OK. So, I’m down with the post’s round up job. We need more light-shiners out there.

As the old saying goes, if you aren’t part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem ;)