'Hunger Games' and Hollywood's racial casting issue
Lenny Kravitz plays Katniss' stylist Cinna in "The Hunger Games." In the novel, Cinna is described as having short brown hair.
March 30th, 2012
07:01 AM ET

'Hunger Games' and Hollywood's racial casting issue

By Stephanie Goldberg, CNN

(CNN) - In "The Hunger Games," wealthy Capitol citizens of all races and ethnicities come together to watch the 74th annual bloodbath of the same name. It seems some present-day moviegoers, however, are a bit less "post-racial."

Earlier this week, some "Hunger Games" fans tweeted their discontent because the characters of Cinna, Thresh and Rue are played by black actors in the big screen adaptation. This, despite the fact that both Thresh (Dayo Okeniyi) and Rue (Amandla Stenberg) are described as having "dark skin" in Suzanne Collins' novel, while Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) is simply described as having short brown hair.

Whether fans' remarks - such as, "Awkward moment when Rue is some black girl and not the little innocent blonde girl you picture" - stem from poor reading comprehension or intolerance, they're indicative of a larger issue in Hollywood, said Harry M. Benshoff, an associate professor of radio, TV and film at the University of North Texas who co-wrote "America on Film: Representing Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality at the Movies."

"Hollywood has never been on the forefront of the civil rights movement," said Benshoff, who hasn't read or watched "The Hunger Games."

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. T Mobile Model

    Sure, I realize it's all about marketing a pretty face, but you have to admit that Carly is a real looker with great charisma!

    March 30, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Montanan

    Hollywood’s conundrum is that it’s overwhelmingly leftist propagandists. They yearn to normalize deviant and un-American behavior, and mass media popular culture is the vehicle to do it through. However, it is also a business. If they produced the garbage they really want to produce, nobody would consume it, no money, out of business.

    March 30, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • TWilliams

      So who decides what is deviant and un-American behavior?

      Also are you saying the Hunger Games is garbage? If you had read the book, the characters of Rue and Thresh were considered dark skinned.

      So appropriately cast characters are a problem?

      March 30, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |