Hunger Games 'controversy' erupts on Twitter over character's race

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By Travis Mayfield

“Have you seen the controversy over The Hunger Games?” asked one of my friends via text message.

I hadn’t, but now that I have I really wish I still hadn’t.

The ‘controversy’ arises after a number of so-called fans took to Twitter to express their outrage regarding the race of several characters.

“Call me a racist, but when I found out rue was black her death wasn’t as sad” tweeted @JashPerparas.

In case you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, Rue is the little girl who befriends the main character Katness but is ultimately killed in a violent manner during the actual Hunger Games.  Rue’s death is an incredibly sad moment both on the page and the screen…at least it’s supposed to be if you aren’t a racist.

“Why does rue have to be black not gonna lie kinda ruined the movie” tweeted @maggie_mcd11.

The better question of course might be How does a character’s race ruin a movie unless the watcher themselves has a problem with a particular race?

And it’s not just Rue.  Cinna, Katness’ slylist, and Thresh, Rue’s fellow District 11 Tribute,  are also played by black actors in the film.

“Cinna and Rue weren’t supposed to be black.” Read one tweet from someone identified as mari.  “why did the producers make all the good characters black.”

A new Tumblr blog titled “Hunger Games Tweets” has been dutifully recording and exposing the shocking tweets (there are many more and many worse published on the site than I've chosen to highlight here).

Apparently some fans imagined Rue as blue eyed, blond haired and fair skinned.  However despite the ‘outrage’ at the film’s producers, it turns out the tweeters themselves are factually incorrect.

“This tumblr page will expose the Hunger Games fans on Twitter who dare to call themselves fans yet don't know a damn thing about the books,” writes the publisher of the tumblr blog.

Author Suzanne Collins actually describes both Rue and Thresh as having “dark brown skin” in the first book.

As for Cinna, Collins never tells readers anything about his race or skin color.  Still since Collins not only wrote the screenplay for the film but also gets a producer credit, it’s not hard to believe Lenny Kravitz is who she pictured from the beginning.

One good note, the folks behind the “Hunger Games Tweets” tumblr just tweeted this to their followers:

“The number of tweets complaining about Rue & Thresh being black have GREATLY reduced and it’s all thanks to you guys”

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