Now watching the behind-the-scenes on The Hunger Games and I’m hearing all these white actors talking about being true to the book and all of these white directors and producers and CASTING DIRECTORS talking about being true to the book.
No POCs asked to audition for Katniss or Gale, who are both olive skinned in the books. And they keep saying “we wanted to stay true to the books” bla bla bla.
They were true to the books about everything else, and honestly I really love the film, and the performances are great and I’m looking forward to the sequel but there’s really SO MUCH HYPOCRISY about what they’re saying.
It just makes me sad, because they really did an amazing job on the movie but there’s this glaring stain on it. The other sad thing is that I almost can’t blame them for it. We’re all so deeply buried in this racist system that says that WHITE IS THE DEFAULT FOR MAIN CHARACTERS IN ALL OF EVERYTHING that so many people don’t think about it, and people who have the power to change that perception don’t try because they just want to keep their jobs half the time.
Early on in the casting process, our organization wrote multiple letters and emails and even spoke to the production over the phone with one simple request: Change the casting call to allow actors of color to audition for Katniss, too.
That was it. We didn’t say: “Katniss has to be a woman of color.” We didn’t say: “A white actress can’t play Katniss.” All we said was open up the casting pool a little bit and give actors from all ethnic backgrounds an equal chance. Heck, even call your casting “colorblind.” Don’t only ask for “Caucasian” girls. See more than just white actors and then decide who is best for the role.
They said no.