Smug News: Racist Hunger Games fans

Amandla Stenberg as Rue in The Hunger Games

I have not seen The Hunger Games, because it has too many children in it. Granted, my understanding of the film is that those children are killing and possibly eating one another, which is nice, but narrative convention dictates that they will still be alive and talking for several minutes of screen time. That’s no good. But I can still enjoy the many, many internet articles produced in conjunction with the film, not the least of which is the news that racist Hunger Games fans were disappointed to find black actors playing several of the main characters. Never mind that those characters are described as having “dark skin” in the books; they’re characters in books, for Pete’s sake, and books are where you find white people the same way the library is where you find bums. Obviously, the fans foolish enough to tweet their disappointment at such faithful casting are stone-cold racists. The question of why their racism is a news story—and an incredibly popular one, at that—is less clear.

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