The Hunger Games movie premiered as the No. 3 biggest opening weekend of all time, with hoards of fans rushing to theaters to see the silver-screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins' first novel of the Hunger Games trilogy. Although the movie was box office gold, raking in $155 million, some found fault with The Hunger Games film. Racist comments pertaining to the character of Rue as well as criticism over Jennifer Lawrence's too curvy figure have flooded the Internet. Hunger Games fans have responded to the petty and offensive grievances.
Racism Directed at Little Rue
Some of the most troubling feedback of The Hunger Games movie came in the form of malicious racism, as commentators voiced their anger over African American actors and actresses portraying characters they imaged to be white.
The most shocking remarks were aimed at Amandla Stenberg who played Rue. Stenberg, a beautiful African American 13-year-old, played the young girl who protects Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) at a vulnerable time, befriends the heroine and is ultimately killed in front of her. Stenberg's performance was both sweet and decidedly moving; yet, critics were angry that a white actress was not chosen.
In Collins' novel, Rue is described as such: She has dark brown skin and eyes, but other than that's she's very like [Katniss' sister] Prim in size and demeanor. Clearly, this is no indication here that Rue was ever supposed to be a blonde-haired, blue-eyed white girl.
Why does rue [sic] have to be black not gonna lie kinda [sic] ruined the movie, tweeted one Twitter user.
Ewwww rue is black?? I'm not watching, another wrote. Many replied to the topic with the use of derogatory slang like b---- and n-----.
Awkward moment when Rue is some black girl and not the little blonde innocent girl you picture, another wrote.
Call me racist, tweeted another, but when i [sic] found out rue was black her death wasn't as sad.
Many of such tweets have been compiled on the Tumblr Hunger Games Tweets, dedicated to [exposing] the 'Hunger Games' fans on Twitter who dare to call themselves fans yet don't know a damn thing about the books. The founder of the Hunger Games Tweets Tumblr page also responded:
Here's what scares me...
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. Now... this is so much more than, Oh, she's bigger than I thought. The reactions are all based on feelings of disgust.
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.
There are MAJOR TIE-INS to these reactions and the injustices that we see around the world today. I don't even need to spell it out because I know that you're all a smart bunch.
This is a BIG problem. Think of all the murdered children. Think of all the missing children that get NO SCREEN TIME on the news.
It is NOT a coincidence.
THIS is the purpose of my blog... and to also point out sh---y reading comprehension. LOL
The deplorable vocabulary used by these so-called fans appalled many, but Amandla Stenberg remained strong and dignified even in the face of such flagrant racism. As a fan of the books, I feel fortunate to be part of 'The Hunger Games' family, she told Us Weekly in a statement. It was an amazing experience; I am proud of the film and my performance. I want to thank all of my fans and the entire 'Hunger Games' community for their support and loyalty.
Many rushed to defend their Rue, fighting back against the racists who sullied the artistic endeavor of The Hunger Games movie.
Jennifer Lawrence to 'Curvy' to Play Katniss?
Another scoff rising from The Hunger Games movie critics is aimed at lead actress Jennifer Lawrence.
The 21-year-old played Katniss Everdeen, the heroine of the film. Katniss Everdeen is the sole provider for her family - which includes her mother and her sister, Primrose - as they struggle through starvation and desperation in District 12. Katniss' father died when Katniss was just 11-years-old in a coal-mine explosion. After her father's death, her mother broke down and could no longer provide for the family. Katniss became the matriarch, hunting for food and keeping some semblance of order in their lives.
District 12 is described by Collins as one of the worst districts in Panem where its citizens eat rotten food, scraps of meat and even garbage because conditions are just that desperate.
Critics have said that Lawrence is a bit too curvy to pass for a starved Katniss Everdeen.
New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis wrote, A few years ago Ms. Lawrence might have looked hungry enough to play Katniss, but now, at 21, her seductive, womanly figure makes a bad fit for a dystopian fantasy about a people starved into submission.
The Hollywood Reporter said her lingering baby fat took away from the believability of the role.
Fans were angered by this assessment of Lawrence.
Katniss may not have been as thin or small in stature as depicted in the book, but it's not unfathomable that her hunting prowess would have allowed her to have some meat on her bones, TheHob.org's Gabby Vittoria responded, according to MTV News. Peeta wasn't tall in the movie; Clove wasn't big and brawny; Katniss wasn't smaller than most of the Tributes. These physical changes certainly didn't take away from the story and messages in the movie. Besides, for me, Jennifer's acting and the quality of the film makes her weight a non-issue.
I'm offended by this critique on so many levels, and honestly, I was shocked that it was ever an issue and that a professional critic would bring it up in the film's review, Sara Gundell from the Hunger Games Examiner fan site stated.
Professionals have also moved to defend Jennifer Lawrence, saying that such criticism directed at her weight is not only silly but also damaging.
This criticism is absurd. She makes a point of being healthy and not too thin, and calling her fat is a great disservice to the healthy body image that she represents, John Sharp, M.D. leading psychiatrist and Harvard Medical School faculty member, told FOX411's Pop Tarts column. As a society we are moving away from this too thin ideal. I think that Hollywood is moving away, too, but it takes a long time and it takes a lot of work. It's been too thin for too long. It takes a long time for people to accept it that Jennifer is not fat, for example, and that she looks healthy.
Sarah Maria, body image expert and author of Love Your Body, Love Your Life, went one step further and hinted at how such critiques can hurt all females.
This type of criticism is not just silly, it is damaging, she told FOX411's Pop Tarts. To state that Jennifer Lawrence is in any way 'too fat,' when her fan base is comprised mostly of young girls, is downright destructive. It feeds the false and prevalent idea that women, especially young women, need to be emaciated in order to be successful. Is too much to hope that Hollywood be consistent in its message regarding body weight?