This is a blog about the white-washing of Katniss Everdeen, Gale Hawthorne, Haymitch Abernathy, and the rest of the Seam in the Hunger Games movie adaptations. The books presented an interesting view of racism and colorism, with the darker olive-skinned Seam class confined to the lower-paying mining jobs within District 12. This was negated with the casting of Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth. While we do not doubt Jennifer's acting ability, this was a great opportunity for an undiscovered POC actor to receive a major role in a major series for teens. At the very least, Lionsgate should have given POC a chance to audition for the role. Instead, they severely limited their casting choices by specifically calling for "Caucasian" actors to audition for the role. We will also be discussing other racism issues in The Hunger Games fandom on this blog.
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This blog is run by Quentin and Iman. Quentin is white, so if they do anything privileged, they will take it as a favor if you call them out (although they have decided to let others do most of the talking and just to post things like artwork). Thanks!
Whitewashing isn’t just wrong because it’s inaccurate, because it upsets the numbers game, or because it dulls the reader’s appreciation of diversity, although it is all of those things. Most importantly, whitewashing is wrong because it hurts real people. Because people have always looked to art to show them their potential but some people don’t see themselves there.
Because now it doesn’t matter what Collins wrote, when people read The Hunger Games they will see Jennifer Lawrence’s face. Katniss used to have an “olive-skinned” face, but now she has a White one. She was stolen away from the people who needed her most.
This isn’t just an academic exercise. This isn’t just numbers on a spreadsheet, although I’m sure money is how Ross justifies the race-exclusive casting call. This is saying to people of color, “It doesn’t matter how little you have, just a few ambiguous words on a page, or how long you can make them last - we can take them back whenever we want.”