- Anonymous asked
- If all the book says is “olive-skinned,” does that necessarily mean [Katniss] isn’t white?
- If all the book says is “[golden] skin” does that necessarily mean [Finnick] isn’t white?
- If all the book says is “[dark] skin” does that necessarily mean [Rue] isn’t white?
There’s plenty of lists with Native American actresses you can google yourself.
Gray eyes aren’t a white only trait, nor is Jennifer Lawrence a gray eyed gal. So please do shut up forever.
I have grey eyes, and from my highly unscientific observations, grey eyes are the third most common eye colour among NDNs, after black and brown. There’s even Grey Eyes as a surename among some NDNs.
But I digress. Throw some contact lenses on Q’orianka Kilcher, Keisha Castle-Huges or Jade Willoughby and you still have a better Katniss.
I have a cousin, who is “full blood, I mean her father, her mother, her grandparents, all Native. and by the Gods - she has green eyes, with hint of like light brown.
I have gray eyes. And I’m an Indian from the same area Katniss is from (Southern Appalachia), mixed like Katniss, and from a coal mining family like Katniss. My brother and cousin both have gray eyes too. And my cousin has a higher BQ than me. So.
The white person cast as Katniss doesn’t have the hair color or skin tone or eye color in the character description and this anon wants to know about NDN eye color.
Katniss Everdeen, if she existed, would not have qualified for the audition to play Katniss Everdeen. Let’s just think about that.
- jurgan asked
If there isn’t more of a mix then it kind of means that the bad guys in Suzanne Collins’s books killed almost all of the Asians, non-white Latin@s, Native Americans, etc. and rounded up a lot of the black folks and stuck them in the worst District.
I mean, you’d have to really lack self awareness about the verisimilitude of your setting to write a story in the dystopic American future and only center it around white folks, right?
- jurgan asked
If only people spent less time focusing on which characters could be white and more time focusing on characters that could be people of color…media would be a much more diverse place.
Even though the books describe a class divide based on physical appearances where the blonde and fair skinned Merchant class faces less oppression than the olive skinned and black haired Seam class, pretty much every single District 12 character described as having olive skin in the Hunger Games books was cast with a white actor. Katniss. Gale. Haymitch. Even the casting call for freaking Greasy Sae specified that the role had to be Caucasian.
Greasy Sae was in the film for all of two minutes and the role was still only available to white actors.
The Hunger Games is a book trilogy inspired by poverty and war. It’s protagonist experienced discrimination from being differentially racialized from her light haired and light skinned family members and neighbors. The protagonist was purposefully intended to have an Appalachian accent and to hail from an impoverished region of the United States where mixed raced American people known for their dark hair, olive skin, and grey eyes resided. An innocent black girl’s death propelled the hero’s journey. It’s heroine waxed poetic about how her heteronormative lover’s blonde hair symbolizes rebirth. It was supposed to contain some deep commentary about media literacy and how institutions of power craft images to manipulate public perception. Talk about meta. Did Collins really create a dystopian future America with the intention to focus solely on white characters (with a few black tokens thrown in to die in support of the white lady protagonist?)
Please pass the olives.
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.
As the release date gets closer, we’re being flooded with releases of trailers and promos and posters of Catching Fire! Yes. Very exciting. We get pictures of so many of the tributes! Katniss, Peeta, Finnick, Johanna, Beetee, Wiress, Mags! Oh wait, there’s more! Cashmere … and Gloss? Yeah. Those characters that are killed in the first half of the book. Who maybe have 10 lines? Descriptions and dialogue included. Missing is, Seeder and Chaff. Katniss’s allies. Haymitch’s best friend. Seeder who is described: “The woman, Seeder, looks almost like she could be from the Seam, with her olive skin and straight black hair streaked with silver. Only her golden brown eyes mark her as from another district.” Seeder and Chaff are from District 11 - thus, we all assume she’s a PoC. Both Seeder and Chaff have been cast by black actors. (Funny, isn’t it, how Seeder is supposed to look like she could be from the Seam? How Katniss, Gale and Haymitch look like they’re from the Seam. All black hair, olive skin … oh … wait.) Seeder and Chaff also the only two main victors bizzarely missing from a series of posters that deemed Gloss and Cashmere important enough to be in it (never mind the fact that the most we know about them was that they were very blonde and very pretty). Enobaria is there you say! She’s a PoC. Yes. Yes. Enobaria is there. Enobaria with her sharp, jagged, fang-like teeth as her only defining characteristic.
I, too, with so many others would have loved to see Finnick and Johanna casted as PoC. I’m really glad they casted Jeffrey Wright as Beetee. But you know what I really wish? That they had cast the actual main characters as PoC - as they were described in the book.
part of the reason Katniss isn’t white to me is people thinking she and Gale were cousins
not because people who are unrelated can’t look alike
but because white people so often think PoC who are unrelated look exactly alike or all the same or whatever
do you know how many people think there are tons of pretty East Asian women who all look the same
or think that anyone from any race that isn’t white could look plausibly related within their race just because they’re PoC
people believing Gale and Katniss had to somehow be related just indicates to me that “Seam” was a race separate from whiteness, and that the people of the seam often looked the same and interchangeable to them