Hunger Games & Racism

I read The Hunger Games last year, when I was in a non-reviewing slump, and so there is no review of the book, and given the insane amount of detail scattered over three medium size novels, I wouldn’t do these books any justice if I reviewed them now, but let me just state that the series is utterly fantastic and magnificent and impressively smart and I was very much looking forward to the movie. A lot of people were. And then this happened. On facebook (cf. this Racialicious post) and on twitter (cf. this Jezebel post), people shared their outrage over casting choices. And the outrage wasn’t directed at the fact that the director chose a pale white girl to play a character described as “olive skinned” (which is, in fact, upsetting (cf. Bitch Media and Julian Sanchez)) – the outrage was directed at the director correctly casting a black actress for a black character. The cries of outrage are eerie, but they do remind me of how cleverly the books are constructed, how the book makes use of class and race lines and provides strong and powerful images of exploitation on a surprising amount of levels. I highly, highly recommend these books.

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