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Reblogged from fandomforequality  3,560 notes
fandomforequality:

White Until Proven Minority
By Lauren Anthony

It’s nothing new that western society tends to default everyone to white until proven otherwise. This is most common in books and radio shows where there isn’t a visual representation of the character in front of the audience. If a character isn’t explicitly stated as being a person of color, most people just assume the character is white. Things can get complicated when the actor portraying the character is a person of color but passes for white or if a character was incorrectly read by many people as white.

Read the full article at Fandom For Equality

fandomforequality:

White Until Proven Minority

By Lauren Anthony

It’s nothing new that western society tends to default everyone to white until proven otherwise. This is most common in books and radio shows where there isn’t a visual representation of the character in front of the audience. If a character isn’t explicitly stated as being a person of color, most people just assume the character is white. Things can get complicated when the actor portraying the character is a person of color but passes for white or if a character was incorrectly read by many people as white.

Read the full article at Fandom For Equality

    jurgan asked
    The post about Hunger Games really confused me. A lot of those "olive-skinnned" women looked white to me. That's no excuse for the casting call saying Katniss HAD TO be white, but if all the book says is "olive-skinned," does that necessarily mean she isn't white?

    Answer:
    • 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?

    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.

Reblogged from fandomforequality  3,560 notes
fandomforequality:

White Until Proven Minority
By Lauren Anthony

It’s nothing new that western society tends to default everyone to white until proven otherwise. This is most common in books and radio shows where there isn’t a visual representation of the character in front of the audience. If a character isn’t explicitly stated as being a person of color, most people just assume the character is white. Things can get complicated when the actor portraying the character is a person of color but passes for white or if a character was incorrectly read by many people as white.

Read the full article at Fandom For Equality

fandomforequality:

White Until Proven Minority

By Lauren Anthony

It’s nothing new that western society tends to default everyone to white until proven otherwise. This is most common in books and radio shows where there isn’t a visual representation of the character in front of the audience. If a character isn’t explicitly stated as being a person of color, most people just assume the character is white. Things can get complicated when the actor portraying the character is a person of color but passes for white or if a character was incorrectly read by many people as white.

Read the full article at Fandom For Equality

Reblogged from alisonofagun  5,446 notes
alisonofagun:

alemonlemoned:

michelleeeeen:

averagesparrow:

iconsidermyself:

Jennifer Lawrence is a great actress and she did a wonderful job in the role of Katniss. That being said, I would have preferred a biracial actress to play this part because I can think of so few heroines with “olive colored skin” that when one finally appears she ought not to be white washed.
(spoilers) Think how much more incredible the scene where Katniss covers Rue in flowers would have been if Katniss and Rue were both women of color. Think how much more powerful it would be if it weren’t a white woman mourning the loss of a black woman. (We’ve seen that before. We’ve seen privileged characters learn from less privileged ones.) Think how amazing it would be for women of color to see themselves represented in every scene that Rue and Katniss share. The Hunger Games has already shown itself to be an incredibly popular film. Just imagine if such a successful film contained scenes which included only actresses of color. I would trade in Jennifer Lawrence’s performance for that.

ALL OF THIS.
Jennifer Lawrence is a great actress and a lovely human being and normally I would be very happy to see a movie that features her. But that image of two women of color bonding, helping each other, impacting each others lives? We need that. As a people. With the way they cast this movie we have three notable characters (Rue, Thresh, and Cinna) playing the role of the Black Best Friend to a white person. And that’s so old. So tired. We need to show people of color as people. Not just as a White Person’s Little Helper.

I understand and appreciate the criticisms previously mentioned, but in defense of the movie, it’s set far into the future. That could mean that all people during that time period are equally oppressed by The Capitol. Sure color blindness doesn’t exist in this day in age, but when an entire nation is being oppressed by one super force of a government, a black person’s struggle is equal to the white person’s struggle. Not to mention each came from communities seemingly entirely composed of people of their own race, which means that they wouldn’t have experience white privilege in Katniss’s district because everyone was white. There was class segregation based on profession in District 12 but no room for race segregation or disadvantage. My thoughts are all hypothetical and forgive me for playing devil’s advocate but the movie is based on the book which is set way in the future. 

The problem is that the audience the book/movie is intended for are NOT from the future, which means that all of the problems of today’s movie industry (whitewashing roles, intentionally restricting casting calls to only white actors and actresses - which happened when casting Katniss, etc) are always relevant. Again, as said: “I would have preferred a biracial actress to play this part because I can think of so few heroines with “olive colored skin” that when one finally appears she ought not to be white washed.” The lack of POC characters in our media, more particularly those portrayed in a positive light and as heroes instead of supporting roles, is always a relevant and important issue and a byproduct of a society with institutionalized racism. 
Other important points were already expressed in the original commentary. 

“That could mean that all people during that time period are equally oppressed by The Capitol. Sure color blindness doesn’t exist in this day in age, but when an entire nation is being oppressed by one super force of a government, a black person’s struggle is equal to the white person’s struggle.”
Oh my god, did we even read the same book? The Hunger Games has an explicitly racial dimension. The conditions of District 11 is a recreation of enslavement—everything from its geographic location (U.S. American South, based on the fact that it borders Appalachia and you take a train south to get there) to the type of labor they are made to do to (fieldwork) the way the people are punished (that would be brutally, with whips.) Then there’s dichotomy established between the way the Black intellectually disabled boy was treated (i.e. he was murdered) versus the way the intellectually disabled boy from District 12 was treated (“like a pet.”)
“Not to mention each came from communities seemingly entirely composed of people of their own race, which means that they wouldn’t have experience white privilege in Katniss’s district because everyone was white. There was class segregation based on profession in District 12 but no room for race segregation or disadvantage.”
Everyone in District 12 WAS NOT WHITE. DISTRICT 12 WAS EXPLICITLY SEGREGATED BY RACE. The people made to do dangerous physical labor (the coal miners of the Seam) are all olive skinned and dark haired, and they routinely starve to death. The white people in District 12 were also oppressed by the Capitol, but they were definitely privileged over the people of color in the Seam.

alisonofagun:

alemonlemoned:

michelleeeeen:

averagesparrow:

iconsidermyself:

Jennifer Lawrence is a great actress and she did a wonderful job in the role of Katniss. That being said, I would have preferred a biracial actress to play this part because I can think of so few heroines with “olive colored skin” that when one finally appears she ought not to be white washed.

(spoilers) Think how much more incredible the scene where Katniss covers Rue in flowers would have been if Katniss and Rue were both women of color. Think how much more powerful it would be if it weren’t a white woman mourning the loss of a black woman. (We’ve seen that before. We’ve seen privileged characters learn from less privileged ones.) Think how amazing it would be for women of color to see themselves represented in every scene that Rue and Katniss share. The Hunger Games has already shown itself to be an incredibly popular film. Just imagine if such a successful film contained scenes which included only actresses of color. I would trade in Jennifer Lawrence’s performance for that.

ALL OF THIS.

Jennifer Lawrence is a great actress and a lovely human being and normally I would be very happy to see a movie that features her. But that image of two women of color bonding, helping each other, impacting each others lives? We need that. As a people. With the way they cast this movie we have three notable characters (Rue, Thresh, and Cinna) playing the role of the Black Best Friend to a white person. And that’s so old. So tired. We need to show people of color as people. Not just as a White Person’s Little Helper.

I understand and appreciate the criticisms previously mentioned, but in defense of the movie, it’s set far into the future. That could mean that all people during that time period are equally oppressed by The Capitol. Sure color blindness doesn’t exist in this day in age, but when an entire nation is being oppressed by one super force of a government, a black person’s struggle is equal to the white person’s struggle. Not to mention each came from communities seemingly entirely composed of people of their own race, which means that they wouldn’t have experience white privilege in Katniss’s district because everyone was white. There was class segregation based on profession in District 12 but no room for race segregation or disadvantage. My thoughts are all hypothetical and forgive me for playing devil’s advocate but the movie is based on the book which is set way in the future. 

The problem is that the audience the book/movie is intended for are NOT from the future, which means that all of the problems of today’s movie industry (whitewashing roles, intentionally restricting casting calls to only white actors and actresses - which happened when casting Katniss, etc) are always relevant. Again, as said: “I would have preferred a biracial actress to play this part because I can think of so few heroines with “olive colored skin” that when one finally appears she ought not to be white washed.” The lack of POC characters in our media, more particularly those portrayed in a positive light and as heroes instead of supporting roles, is always a relevant and important issue and a byproduct of a society with institutionalized racism. 

Other important points were already expressed in the original commentary. 

“That could mean that all people during that time period are equally oppressed by The Capitol. Sure color blindness doesn’t exist in this day in age, but when an entire nation is being oppressed by one super force of a government, a black person’s struggle is equal to the white person’s struggle.”

Oh my god, did we even read the same book? The Hunger Games has an explicitly racial dimension. The conditions of District 11 is a recreation of enslavement—everything from its geographic location (U.S. American South, based on the fact that it borders Appalachia and you take a train south to get there) to the type of labor they are made to do to (fieldwork) the way the people are punished (that would be brutally, with whips.) Then there’s dichotomy established between the way the Black intellectually disabled boy was treated (i.e. he was murdered) versus the way the intellectually disabled boy from District 12 was treated (“like a pet.”)

“Not to mention each came from communities seemingly entirely composed of people of their own race, which means that they wouldn’t have experience white privilege in Katniss’s district because everyone was white. There was class segregation based on profession in District 12 but no room for race segregation or disadvantage.”

Everyone in District 12 WAS NOT WHITE. DISTRICT 12 WAS EXPLICITLY SEGREGATED BY RACE. The people made to do dangerous physical labor (the coal miners of the Seam) are all olive skinned and dark haired, and they routinely starve to death. The white people in District 12 were also oppressed by the Capitol, but they were definitely privileged over the people of color in the Seam.

Reblogged from hamiltonkitty  172 notes

Pretty Upset About Rue and Thresh

hamiltonkitty:

racebending:

joamette:

Hmm…I think that, in some ways, the ‘magical negro’ trope isn’t so much the result of stereoyping, btu the inevitable result of POC being cast in supporting roles.

In most story structures, every event relates back to the main character and the main plot.  Other characters are defined by their relation to the protagonist: the love interest, the mentor, the rival, the best friend. This is unavoidable. Good writers should create characters that are rich and complex, but a secondary character can’t go off and do their own thing in the middle of the protagonist’s story.  Their motivations, goals, etc. must be played down for the sake of keeping focus. Their relationship to the protagonist will almost always be their most important relationship.

  So, what do you do if you want to add a black character to a story for ‘diversity’, but you don’t want to make them the main character or love interest? And you don’t want to make them the antagonist, either, because you don’t want to be racist? You shove them into the role of helper to the white protagonist, like the sassy black girlfriend, or the wise black mentor.

In my view, the problem isn’t that there is something inherently wrong with a black secondary character existing to aide a white protagonist. Many if not most secondary characters who are ‘good’ earn their place in the plot through assisting the protagonist and existing as a foil for the primary story line.  The problem is that black characters are constantly thrown into these roles for the sake of ‘diversity’, but rarely get their own stories, where, perhaps, a white person is playing the wise mentor or best friend  They’re always assigned to the secondary, support position.

bolded for emphasis

Reblogged from shesawtheblog  172 notes

Pretty Upset About Rue and Thresh

joamette:

Alright, here Tumblr, it’s my turn to wank about The Hunger Games after having just read the whole first book yesterday.If you haven’t read it already, expect spoilers, or for some things not to make sense to you.

I’m pretty upset about the characters Rue and Thresh. No, I’m not one of the assholes from Twitter with panties all in a twist over the fact that they are being played by black actors. Of course they are being played by black actors - the characters are black in the book, being described as having “dark brown skin” and “dark thick hair.”

I’m upset because Rue and Thresh, the only characters in the The Hunger Games who are explicitly described as dark-skinned people, are textbook examples of the Magical Negro trope. Click the link for a brief explanation of what that means if you aren’t familiar with the racist archetype.

First of all, let’s take a look at Rue and the role she plays in THG. She is a slight, pre-teen girl whose strengths are tree-climbing, stealth, and knowledge of edible and medicinal plants. Every single one of her strengths and character traits is tailored to advance Katniss through the plot.

Aside from the initial mentions establishing her existence and foreshadowing her plot importance, Rue’s first true appearance in THG comes at the exact moment that Katniss is stuck in a tree surrounded by enemies, and she only survives the encounter thanks to Rue’s observation about the genetically-altered wasps’ nest above.

A few tracker jacker stings and two-days of venom-induced nightmares later, Katniss encounters Rue again. Rue is designed to be the only character who could possibly sneak up on Katniss and tug at her heart strings. Rue reminds Katniss of her sister Prim, who Katniss loves so much that she volunteered for the Hunger Games in her stead and even accidentally refers to Rue as Prim in her thoughts. Rue also happens to show up equipped the exact medicinal knowledge that Katniss needs to heal the stings, right then and there. These herbs end up serving Katniss’s ends well after Rue is dead.

Another major advancement for Katniss was her destruction of the Career pack’s supply camp, which was made possible only by Rue’s ability to travel quickly and stealthily through the pine forest while lighting the distraction fires. Oh yeah, and the fact that Rue had been spying on their camp and had some invaluable intel to offer on the matter. It also just so happens that Rue knows exactly how to use the one item Katniss is carrying that Katniss doesn’t know how to use: the night-vision glasses.

Basically, one is hard press to name a single thing about Rue that isn’t one-mindedly engineered to advance Katniss. Even her seemingly unique love for music simply harkens back to Katniss’s relationship with her deceased father. Even the little girl’s shy but eager personality just seems tacked on to give us a reason to be sad when she is inevitably killed off.

The way hear death was handled was perhaps the most upsetting thing to me about her treatment: she was killed the instant the plot no longer needed her, not a moment later. To be fair, every character died the moment the plot didn’t need them anymore; however, only Rue’s death was used to develop Katniss’s character. Every other death comes off as incidental.

Which brings me to Thresh, the boy from the same district as Rue. After his introduction, we don’t see hide nor hair of him for practically the whole book until he becomes necessary as a plot device to save Katniss. He literally lunges out of the woods the moment Katniss becomes incapable of saving her own life from Clove, successfully annihilates her assailant, and only stops short of killing Katniss as well because Rue. I don’t even feel like I have to finish that sentence. It is simply because Rue. Next time we hear mention of Thresh, he’s on the body count.

I would also like to point out that the only explicitly dark-skinned characters are from the farming district where whipping is the primary form of punishment, a fact that brings Katniss momentary pause to contemplate her relative good-fortune in relation to these people (which smacks of white guilt or something like it).

I’m bad at writing conclusions, but this is Tumblr, not the academy, so whatever. That is basically what I read, and it super bums me out.

Is the impact of the Magical Negro stereotype mitigated if Katniss is read as biracial or as a woman of color? Would the fixation on the races of the actors or on the characters have been lessened if The Hunger Games had more diversity in its main characters as a whole? Do you think Suzanne Collins was aware of the Magical Negro stereotype—or the implications of a character of color dying to drive a white character’s story forward—as she wrote these scenes in The Hunger Games?

I’m trying to figure out how insulated one has to be from the wider world to be shocked! shocked! that racism is pervasive in American culture, and among American teens. Those wide-eyed tweets about Rue’s death being less sad because she’s black clearly come straight from the brains of adolescents (nearly all of them white, presumably) who have bathed in subtly and overtly racist culture since birth, absorbed far too much of it, and not yet learned to second-guess or even censor themselves when they parrot its tenets. They’re surprising only if you haven’t noticed that when real people of color are killed, there’s always an immediate attempt to justify or downplay the deaths. Art imitates life; reactions to art likewise imitate life.

By An article at Publisher’s Weekly on fans’ racist reactions to learning that Rue is black. The article also gives a shout-out to Racebending.com
Reblogged from formerly-serbranflakes  96 notes

varros:

scootledoodle:

varros:

It’s not about what you think Katniss should’ve looked like in the book. 

It’s not even that they cast Jennifer Lawrence.

It’s about when the casting call was limited exclusively to Caucasian actresses only.

That’s where the racism comes from.

When you cut out whole groups of people for this role.

Because of their skin color.

Uhhh, they did this because Katniss is described as white in the books. I don’t know if you noticed but they were very nit-picky about every detail being correct like that. Katniss HAD to be brunette, Peeta HAD to be blonde, Rue HAD to be dark skinned. They were trying to stay true to the novel and I don’t think they were wrong to hold the casting call like that. It’s actually really normal. You’re being oversensitive 

Um.

No. Katniss was described as being olive skinned- not white.And I’m not sure if you’ve seen an olive skinned person. But they can be Hispanic, middle eastern, south asian, native american. Any number of things. Considering her mother and sister are both very fair and blonde, my first thought was mixed race anyways. So yeah they were very picky about making the characters LOOK the part.

But the second you just put a tan on a white girl to make her look darker

instead of casting a darker girl in the first place, then that’s obviously the issue. 

(and also, there is a serious difference between hair color and skin color btw)

The problem is that it IS normal for POC to get passed over on roles for the white actors that could be made to look the part because it easier and safer than taking the risk and putting a person of color as the main character and not as a side kick or background character or plot device. 

It’s normal for POC to be completely unrepresented in Hollywood. 

And the fact that it’s still an issue today? 

As a mixed-race woman I’m not being “oversensative” about blatant racism. 

    unsuspectingfish asked
    The closer we get to the Hunger Games premiere, the more upset I get that they didn't do it right, and the more glad I am that you guys are here, so I don't feel so alone in my anger and disappointment.

Does Katniss have an Appalachian accent in the movie?

To fans who have already seen The Hunger Games, does the film depict Katniss and other people from District 12 as speaking with an Appalachian accent?

In the past, Suzanne Collins has said that Katniss has the accent, even reading  Katniss with that accent at the Mockingjay book launch.

In terms of media representation, this is significant because it is rare for people with Appalachian accents to be depicted in literature and film, and when they are depicted it is not positively. Characters with Appalachian accents are rarely heroes and are often unflatteringly stereotyped.