Whiteness and The Hunger Games

My twelve-year-old son loves The Hunger Games — they are to him what Twilight was to so many girls and women. He’s read the books twice and has been somewhat obsessively watching the trailer for the film that opens in March.

When he was watching the trailer (again) this morning over breakfast, he said to me, “Why are all of the districts made up of white people?” So I watched it again. And while there’s a smattering of people of color in the film, but the crowd scenes are still seas of white faces — segregated spaces — rather than multiracial, multiethnic groups of people.

Soooo . . . if a twelve-year-old can recognize the reproduction of white supremacy, why can’t Hollywood? And given that The Hunger Games is a dystopian science fiction narrative, why can’t we imagine a future (dystopian or utopian) in which the diverse peoples of the world are represented? And if action-adventure is a global genre, why wouldn’t it be in the economic interests of the industry to make sure that different peoples could find themselves represented on screen?

Do people in the industry really *not* think about these issues? Maybe educators need to do a better job of making sure they do.

One response to “Whiteness and The Hunger Games

  1. I think people in the industry think about it, but they just don’t care enough to do something about it, as whiteness ‘sells’.

    Funny that your son noticed this. I noticed similar when I watched the Jetsons as a child and realized the ‘startling vision of the future’ is WHITE.

    Did you see all the tweets in 2012 by teens (I am assuming all white) who saw Hunger games and were really angry about the fact that Rue was not white?

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