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Monday, March 26, 2012

Hashtags from the End of Humanity

Posted by on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Exhibit A: All the tech-savvy youth inspired to parade their racism by The Hunger Games' (textually appropriate) use of black actors in key parts. One example among the many collected at the Tumblr Hunger Games Tweets:


As Dodai Stewart at Jezebel writes, "The posts go on and on and on. It's not just a coupe of tweets, it's not just a coincidence. There's an underlying rage, coming out as overt prejudice and plain old racism. Sternberg is called a "black bitch," a "nigger" and one person writes that though he pictured Rue with "darker skin," he "didn't really take it all the way to black." It's as if that is the worst possible thing a person could be."

And as the owner of the Tumblr writes:

All these… people… read the Hunger Games. Clearly, they all fell in love with and cared about Rue. Though what they really fell in love with was an image of Rue that they'd created in their minds. A girl that they knew they could love and adore and mourn at the thought of knowing that she's been brutally killed. And then the casting is revealed (or they go see the movie) and they're shocked to see that Rue is black....These people are MAD that the girl that they cried over while reading the book was "some black girl" all along. So now they're angry. Wasted tears, wasted emotions. It's sad to think that had they known that she was black all along, there would have been [no] sorrow or sadness over her death.

Compounding the horror and further justifying my post title is Exhibit B: All the tech-savvy youth inspired to pre-bash their unborn gay chidren via the hashtag #tomyunbornchild.


Comments (39) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
I loved the actress who played Rue. She was adorable and not annoying as most children have a tendency to be.
Posted by LizzieVeg on March 26, 2012 at 12:33 PM · Report this
From reading the book, I always knew that Rue was black. How could you not?
Posted by charity on March 26, 2012 at 12:36 PM · Report this
@2 Denial.
Posted by Frank Rizzo on March 26, 2012 at 12:38 PM · Report this
@ selective reading comprehension

And Rue was one of the best cast/portrayed roles in the film!
Posted by genevieve on March 26, 2012 at 12:44 PM · Report this
@2 - having just finished the book, I admit I didn't catch that, but I assume it's because these books are written to be inhaled like popcorn, and some details can slip by one in the process. Not defending people who are up in arms about the casting, which is totally messed up, but those who, like me, were unaware of the colors of the various characters (except that one lady in the Capitol who had dyed her skin green or something).
Posted by Levislade on March 26, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this
balderdash 6
I guess this is what happens when you raise an entire generation without talking to them about race. They don't turn out colorblind, just color-ignorant. Color-naive.
Posted by balderdash on March 26, 2012 at 12:53 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 7

Any of these beloved "Young People" that SLOG unequivocally praises live in Florida?

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on March 26, 2012 at 12:54 PM · Report this
@6, oh, they have most definitely been told about race. You don't get to those attitudes without being steeped in racism, whether consciously or not.
Posted by Westside forever on March 26, 2012 at 12:56 PM · Report this
switzerblog 9
I'll be damned. I finally caved and read the hunger games last week (good as advertised, not going to displace any of the classics), and in my mind, Rue was white as the driven snow. Never even occurred to me. My response to this news is like seeing Red as a black man in Shawshank Redemption: "Huh. Didn't expect that." Never would have occurred to me to be less sad about her death. Hell, I never even pictured Thresh as black, either! I must have really missed some descriptive passages. What a weird thing to be affected by your inner racist.
Posted by switzerblog on March 26, 2012 at 1:11 PM · Report this
Anti-m 10
Er... spoiler alert?
Posted by Anti-m on March 26, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this
@5 I can understand that. I miss inconsequential details all the time when I am reading. It's not like the author went out of her way to say, "Black! Rue is black, people!"

It really makes no difference. I wish everyone realized that.

Also, the actress that plays Katniss should really be some sort of hispanic/italian mix because that is what the book description sounded like to me. But I'm not bitching because it doesn't matter that much.
Posted by charity on March 26, 2012 at 1:15 PM · Report this
Zebes 12
I haven't read the book or seen the movie, but I just looked up the actress on IMDB because I wanted to know what we're talking about.

And holy crap. She's 14 and looks like a charming young woman. What sort of asshole gets whipped into a racist frenzy by that?
Posted by Zebes on March 26, 2012 at 1:19 PM · Report this
Garfield 13
I must be the only one alive who didn't like Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. In the book McMurphy was a big redhead. Nicholson just didn't pull it off for me.
Posted by Garfield on March 26, 2012 at 1:24 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 14
Young people from the South aren't quite as racist as their grandparents.

But that ain't saying much, y'all.
Posted by Will in Seattle on March 26, 2012 at 1:42 PM · Report this
Unregistered User 15
I didn't read the book, but I did see the film, and I wasn't given enough background/development to care about that character. They could've spent an extra 30 seconds developing the relationship between Rue and the main character and spared me the obnoxiously long mourning sequence when Rue dies that seemed pointless and overwrought since I didn't know anything ABOUT the character.

Obviously I should have read the book first.
Posted by Unregistered User on March 26, 2012 at 1:43 PM · Report this
@1: I never read the books but the idea of a really young girl (was she the youngest of all of the 24?) thrown into a game where she's more than likely just fodder was very poignant. The actress who played her was cute-as-a-button and did a great job.

I never pictured the quidditch announcer in Harry Potter to be black or for Cho Chang to have an Irish accent, but I never thought of that casting or characters to be detrimental to my experience in the books or movies. It was just a, "Oh, okay."

But it does remind me of the uproar over the casting in The Last Airbender live-action movie, lol
Posted by Drew2u on March 26, 2012 at 1:44 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 17
@ 9, I don't think there's anything inherently racist about assuming what race a character in a book is, if there are few or no clues to guide you. We all identify most with our own ethnic groups, and will imagine almost any fictional character to be like us in the absence of contrary evidence. I haven't read the book, but judging from some of the comments, there weren't any explicit descriptions of Rue.

@ 13, great performances always trump physical inconsistencies between movie characters and the ones in the book. Joe Pesci was in his mid 40s when he played Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas; the real-life person on whom he was based was killed when he was 28.
Posted by Matt from Denver on March 26, 2012 at 1:45 PM · Report this
@12: Looking at her IMDB page - holy crap, what a beautiful little girl!
Posted by MLM on March 26, 2012 at 1:46 PM · Report this
@9 there's a difference between a "I didn't expect this" reaction and a "WTF, Rue is black" reaction that lots of people seem to be having. A number of HG fans seems genuinely pissed that Rue (and Thresh, and to some extent Cinna) is played by an African American. I mean really pissed.

Posted by searunner on March 26, 2012 at 1:54 PM · Report this
@17, you are incorrect. Here is the description, ripped from the pages of the book:

And most hauntingly, a twelve-year-old girl from District 11. She has dark brown skin and eyes, but other than that, she’s very like Prim in size and demeanor.
Posted by ziptag on March 26, 2012 at 1:55 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 21
@ 20, I couldn't be wrong because I didn't read the book. I simply didn't know. But thank you for that - now everyone knows her race is mentioned in the book.

Now, if that's the ONLY time her skin color is mentioned, and it isn't in any way important to the plot, I would forgive someone for not remembering it. That was pretty brief.
Posted by Matt from Denver on March 26, 2012 at 2:04 PM · Report this
I didn't picture Rue as black either. Originally I though of her as Mexican, more in line with modern migrant workers in agriculture. She was an orchard picker. Then about mid-way through the book I morphed her into something like ethnic Turkish, Baltic, or Central Asian like the girl in The Fall, mostly because of the crescent shape of their people's bread. A Rue is also an evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean and South West Asia.
Posted by LukeJoe on March 26, 2012 at 2:06 PM · Report this
Posted by tkc on March 26, 2012 at 2:14 PM · Report this
See and one of the problems I had when they were casting the movie was that 1: Jennifer Lawrence is TOO OLD to play Katniss and 2: Katniss is described as having an olive skin complexion, so I definitely had a different picture in my mind of what Katniss looked like. That was one of the refreshing things about the books is that the characters are pretty racially diverse.
Posted by sisyphusgal on March 26, 2012 at 2:17 PM · Report this
onion 25
yah, i'm with 23 and 10. i know the books have been out for, like, EVAR, and that anyone with one foot on the pulse of current culture should have read this book YEARS ago, and I know that the movie has been out for like, TWO WHOLE DAYS (i must be such a dork, i haven't seen it yet!), but for those of us who haven't dragged our asses to the theatre or gotten the book SPOILER ALERT PLZ, MUTHAEFFAHS.
Posted by onion on March 26, 2012 at 3:26 PM · Report this
switzerblog 26
@19, I totally get that difference. I wasn't clear in my comment before. I think it's weird - nay, bizarre - to get that bent out of shape over something like this. Like, it strikes me as weird to be *that* racist. I'm still not being clear. To be honest, I'd just gotten up when I wrote that comment, so maybe my point was "haha, I'm not as racist as them." The coffee hadn't taken effect yet, who knows.
Posted by switzerblog on March 26, 2012 at 3:31 PM · Report this
Unregistered User 27
Spoiler alert: the book is written in the first person and it's a battle royale where only one person can win.

Posted by Unregistered User on March 26, 2012 at 3:36 PM · Report this
venomlash 28
I don't care if children I may have some day are gay, straight, or bi, but I really hope that none of them (male or female) turn out all swishy.
Posted by venomlash on March 26, 2012 at 3:41 PM · Report this
Andy 29
@10, 23, 25. It's not even that the book has been out for forever. The premise is 24 kids get sent into an arena to kill each other, until there is only one standing. I don't think it's that much of a spoiler to say that everyone but the main character dies. There are two more books in the series that she is the protagonist of, after all.
Posted by Andy on March 26, 2012 at 3:41 PM · Report this
Knat 30
That actress looks like she was created in a lab to be the absolute epitome of human cuteness. As such, even without having read the books, I knew it was her destiny to die during the film.
Posted by Knat on March 26, 2012 at 3:42 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 31
I'm much more upset by the #tomyunbornchild hashtags than the Hunger Games controversy. Can someone go and kick all these people's asses, one by one?
Posted by Canadian Nurse on March 26, 2012 at 4:09 PM · Report this
rob! 32
@28, having a dinosaur-diggin' daddy should ensure they're sufficiently butch, whatever their same-sex-genitalia-munching proclivities. Just buy them the hat as soon as the smallest size will stay above their eyebrows, and then be sure to keep up with growth spurts.
Upon requests by Spielberg and Lucas, the costume designer gave the character a distinctive silhouette through the styling of the hat; after examining many hats, the designers chose a tall-crowned, wide-brimmed fedora. As a documentary of Raiders pointed out, the hat served a practical purpose. Following the lead of the old "B"-movies that inspired the Indiana Jones series, the fedora hid the actor's face sufficiently to allow doubles to perform the more dangerous stunts seamlessly. Examples in Raiders include the wider-angle shot of Indy and Marion crashing a statue through a wall, and Indy sliding under a fast-moving vehicle from front to back. Thus it was necessary for the hat to stay in place much of the time.

The hat became so iconic that the filmmakers could only come up with very good reasons or jokes to remove it. If it ever fell off during a take, filming would have to stop to put it back on. In jest, Ford put a stapler against his head to stop his from falling off when a documentary crew visited during shooting of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. This created the urban legend that Ford stapled the hat to his head.[40] Although other hats were also used throughout the movies, the general style and profile remained the same. Elements of the outfit include:

• The fedora was supplied by Herbert Johnson Hatters in England for the first three films. It was referred to as "The Australian Model" by costume designer Deborah Landis and was fitted with a Petersham bow.[41] The fedora for Crystal Skull was made by Steve Delk and Marc Kitter of the Adventurebilt Hat Company of Columbus, Mississippi...
Posted by rob! on March 26, 2012 at 4:52 PM · Report this
venomlash 33
>conflating paleontology with archaeology
Posted by venomlash on March 26, 2012 at 5:29 PM · Report this
rob! 34
Oh, I don't, VL (perish the thought), but in the popular imagination (i.e. when it's considered at all), Roy Chapman Andrews is thought to be the prototype for Indiana Jones. The hat as juju should work nonetheless.
Posted by rob! on March 26, 2012 at 5:46 PM · Report this
@16, I was also surprised by Cho Chang's accent, but it didn't take away from the story one bit. In fact, it challenged me to look at characters in a different way.
Posted by LizzieVeg on March 26, 2012 at 6:14 PM · Report this
onion 36
"The premise is 24 kids get sent into an arena to kill each other"
Doesn't this bother anyone? At all? Or does it at least merit discussion?
Posted by onion on March 26, 2012 at 7:25 PM · Report this
Hyzenthlayk9 37
@36 - That premise is at the heart of the books. Everything pretty much is happens because of or in reaction to "why" 24 children are chosen each year to fight to the death with only one survivor - and what surviving does to the individuals who have made it through.

The book does a very nice job of addressing violence and its effects.
Posted by Hyzenthlayk9 on March 26, 2012 at 8:06 PM · Report this
freesandbags 38
Face it...some "humans" is awful peoples. As Tumblr has shown us, once again:( When teens start reenacting hunting scenes and someone dies, ummmm, let's all be shocked, ok.
Posted by freesandbags on March 26, 2012 at 8:36 PM · Report this
venomlash 39
Two kids survive.
Posted by venomlash on March 27, 2012 at 10:34 AM · Report this

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