the hunger games: rue, cinna, thresh and rage
I’m sure none of you have missed the uproar among “fans” of The Hunger Games regarding the casting of Cinna, Thresh, and particularly Rue.
I’m not going to go into how these people shouldn’t be surprised that these characters were played by black actors, because you know, it’s okay to be surprised. Especially with Cinna since his race is never described (In my head he was Asian, I have no idea why.). Maybe they somehow missed the fact that Suzanne Collins specifically points out that at least Rue, Thresh, and pretty much all of District 11 are, given its location and major trade, black. It’s easy to read a text and still manage to change the shape of a character to fit your own imagination. I can even almost see where they’re coming from. Katniss describes Rue, but before a clear image is in place she compares her to Prim, so BOOM! Little blonde white girl.
What gets me is that people are ANGRY. The majority of the negative responses that I’ve seen are of people who feel duped, like they were tricked into caring about a POC, and man if they’d just KNOWN it wouldn’t have hurt so much when Rue died. They wouldn’t have cried. It wouldn’t have been such a big deal. But ugh the movie’s RUINED AUGH.
I think that response says a lot about where America is in terms of race (and maybe the world, too, I only really know my own space). It says a lot about why it’s been a month since Trayvon Martin was murdered and his killer is still free, and that he’s free because people make excuses for him.
I don’t really know where I was hoping to go with this, it’s just an observation. It sucks, and it scares me, and it really makes me want to build an arc to go colonize another planet.