Timely reminder that Jennifer Lawrence catapulted to fame on the backs of Brown girls who could’ve played Katniss because LOL it’s just a tan and some bronzer
friendly reminder that she also catapulted to fame on the backs of people with mental illnesses and disorders in some wack ass sensationalised joke of a movie that is directed by by a transmisogynistic abuser
What do you think? Cultural appropriation? I don’t think any specific culture has been mentioned which they got the “inspiration” of the costume from. However, Jennifer Lawrence is one of my favorite actresses and I want to know if she is culturally appropriating in this.
Thank you for your time.
Kamanitree: Yeah, that screams cultural appropriation. I’m sure they’re trying to go for “Arabian princess” or some kind of similar asshattery. And of course, don’t forget the dreads.
It’s not the best source and my friend and I are going to keep searching but there you have the quote. I guess I was wrong about the wording but I think the meaning is the same. How about you? What do you think of this? I think she’s really flippant and doesn’t get it at all. I’ll keep you posted if I find anything more.
Hopefully this can be used for the community (which I ADORE) though!
submitted by usakeh
She definitely doesn’t get the point. She acts like all everyone cares about is her hair color, when the issue is that her casting made the racial narrative meaningless. The whole “Oh my gosh, blonde hair can turn brown!” seems to be mocking people who were upset over her casting too, when she’s the one who is missing the point here.
I don’t know how great my own commentary is gonna be, but I’ll look for more eloquent explanations of why this is wrong, but for now, I’ll give a shot.
It’s pretty simple; the casting of Jennifer Lawrence was an issue because the ethnicity of Katniss Everdeen was left purposefully ambiguous in the text. Collins herself has said She has straight, black hair, olive skin, and gray eyes; people defending the casting of the blonde, decidedly Caucasian Jennifer Lawrence assumed that because she had ‘grey eyes’ and a blonde mother/sister, Katniss HAD to be white. This is, honestly, a really foolish opinion to have. There are many people of color who are blonde-haired and/or blue-eyed. The assumption by some readers that Katniss is white wouldn’t have been too harmful, except the casting department issued a call for WHITE ACTRESSES ONLY, thereby eliminating people of color from even having a chance to audition. Biracial women can pass as white; they are not white, but they can have blonde hair and grey eyes. They could have walked in, looked white, and had their hair died the same way that Jennifer did, and the casting department might have never known—but then the character would have been a poc, a person of mixed race which would have been much closer to the reality of who Katniss Everdeen really is.
The casting crew decided, however, that they only wanted to audition white actresses, thus completely negating the chance of any actress of color filling the role. This indicates they weren’t interested in casting the most talented actress—simply the most talented WHITE actress. This is what made many people unhappy with the casting of Katniss/Jennifer. I think the only objection to Josh being cast as Peeta was that he was “too small” for the role; that he was shorter than Jennifer and people imagined Peeta as buffer, taller, stronger. There wasn’t a race question with Josh.
With regard to Johanna, she is described as: having wide-set brown eyes and spiky hair. In Mockingjay, she returns from the Capitol with a shaved head after being tortured, but eventually grows pieces of her hair back, where the prespiration from her forehead made her hair form spikes. Johanna is also never described as being white, but people seem to assume that only white actresses should play her (aside from rumors of Catalina Sandino Moreno, every other actress rumored for the role has been white).
The issues of these castings are that characters who are never described as white and are actually described as having non-white/racially ambiguous physical characteristics are assumed to be white, and people become ANGRY when you suggest they AREN’T white. Johanna and Katniss could JUST AS EASILY be women of color as they could be white; yet the basic assumption is that they should be cast as women who must be physically altered to fit their roles, rather than to cast someone who innately resembles the character. It’s problematic because race is completely left out of The Hunger Games, as Collins opted instead to describe people’s physical attributes in vague traits, never directly stating that someone is black, asian, white, etc. This is presumed to be a semi-post racial world, where geography determines appearance (“that seam look”—the olive skin of people from the Seam in District 12, never explicitly stated as white, but a marker for poverty) and status, and races have mixed to the point where most people are considered mixed-race.
It’s deeply worrying because it shows that unless you directly say “this character is black”, such as describing the dark skin of Rue and Thresh, a character is assumed to be white. The absence of race makes a character white—the baseline in hollywood is that unless otherwise stated, every character should be white, or is best cast as white. And even when a character IS described overtly as being a poc, there will still be people demanding they were miscast, that they should have been white. Look at all the racist reactions to Rue/Amandla Stenberg and Thresh/Dayo Okeniyi being cast. It’s horrifying.
I’m just gonna casually direct people to my graphic of actresses who COULD play Johanna Mason, all of whom are woc: