March 26th, 2012

EFF

Hunger Games: KATNISS IS NOT WHITE

So, first post in a long time.

For those of my friends who love The Hunger Games and love the movie (or are seriously looking forward to the movie), please consider this:

The casting of The Hunger Games appropriates the stories of peoples of color for the benefit of people with privilege by casting ALL OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS with white actors. This is known as whitewashing or, if you are being less generous, blackface. Or in this case, brownface--please note the heavy use of tanning make-up on Jennifer Lawrence and the various quotes from people involved--including the author--dismissing concerns regarding race by saying, "We have a make-up department" or "We can easily deal with her hair color".

Not only is this a systematically racist practice because it denies people of color a voice and effectively erases their central roles in their own struggles and liberation, it also denies talented and hard working actors of color solid leading roles while granting them to white actors who have no lack of opportunity to audition for leading roles meant exclusively for white actors. Furthermore it continues to perpetuate the systematic racism of movies, television, and media which offers a myriad of portrayals of white people but only limited depictions of people of color, who are portrayed as dehumanized stereotypes, if at all.

If you don't believe me, or thin that I am making a big deal out of nothing, please read this, this, and this--these articles explain and sum up the issues far more eloquently than I ever could.

EDT: And in case there was any doubt, this is not a case of, "But a white person just happened to be the best one for the job!" since actors of color where not even given the opportunity to audition (casting calls asked specifically for white actors).