Home Homepage Featured Young Stars RACIST COMMENTS SURROUND AMANDLA STENBERG’S LATEST ROLE

RACIST COMMENTS SURROUND AMANDLA STENBERG’S LATEST ROLE

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The beautiful and talented young Amandla Stenberg,13, has been receiving some criticism for her role as “Rue” in the new movie The Hunger Games. The criticism is not because her acting ability, but because of the color of her skin.

Some people are upset the character “Rue” is being played by an African American actress. Although the author, Suzanne Collins, describes Rue as having “dark brown skin” some are still surprised that “dark brown skin” is translated as African American in the movie and those people proceeded to Tweet about their disappointment. Some even admitted that they’d lost interest in seeing the movie after finding out that Amandla was playing “Rue.”

Amandla has responded to the racist tweets by saying, “As a fan of the books, I feel fortunate to be part of ‘The Hunger Games’ family,” she told Us Weekly in a statement. “It was an amazing experience. I am proud of the film and my performance. I want to thank all of my fans and the entire ‘Hunger Games’ community for their support and loyalty.”

BCK Says: In light of the recent events surrounding the Trayvon Martin incident, this comes as just another reminder that there are still people that have negative views on people of a different race to the point of disapproving of an entire movie because of their views. It’s unfortunate, but true and is just another example that although this nation has progressed and become more tolerant, it still has a long way to go. What are your thoughts?

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85 COMMENTS

  1. who cares what others think about an actors skin tone, what I care about is was the performance of a high quality, Morgan Freeman played a character in Shawshank Redemption that was originally written for a man of Irish descent, and he did an excellent job, was and still is one of my favorite films.

  2. actually, there was a black guy with dreds in twilight. i feel what u mean though. i saw the hunger games b/c i read the book but also b/c the little girl was in it and she played really well.

  3. Regardless of what people think they should keep it to themselves, she’s a child and living her dream. Some people are so disgusting.

  4. Some people are ignorant and obviously illiterate! i was shocked and appalled at some of the comments I saw regarding this poor girl’s involvement in the movie! some people went as far as to say that they didnt feel as sad for the death of her character when they found out she was black. I guess we know how those people feel about Trayvon Martin.

    I bet these are the same people who believe Jesus was a white man even though the bible says his skin was dark and hair was like wool. People only see what they WANT to see!

    • Really, black jesus? I guess people read what they wanna read too because Ive never read any description of Jesus in the bible.He might not have been caucasian but he certainly wasnt a black man in the same way the ethiopian eunuch was!
      We all know there are some dumb as… people out there. The same fools who go to websites and leave nasty messages to people who have died. You know the old saying, the feeling is mutual. To quote a line from Aladdin, theyll die and only their fleas will mourn them!

  5. In an interview awhile ago, the author Suzanne Collins described Rue and another major character as “definitely African American” and they are described as “very dark skinned” in the books. Yet, this was a shock to some fans. The illiterate fans I guess.

  6. @puddingpop I think Kenzo is adorable.

    @violingirl It is truly sad that these comments are coming from young people, that is suppose to be where the hope lies. I remember a line in the movie “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” something to the effect that nothing was going to change until the older generation dies off. However, it looks like they have done a good job of passing down the ignorance from one generation to the next. How sad.

  7. BCK you didn’t mention most of what people actually tweeted. It was far worse than losing interest in the movie. *SPOILER ALERT FOR THE MOVIE* Many people went as far to say that her death in the movie wasn’t sad because she was black. I saw a lot of those tweets and it made me sick to my stomach. It’s so shameful that in our society, the significance of someone’s death depends on the colour of their skin. People also said that it’s a shame that all the good characters in the book were given to black actors, as if black people are not good. What’s even more frightening is that it is primarily young people tweeting such awful things. You’d think younger generations would be less racist.

    Here’s the article:
    http://jezebel.com/5896408/racist-hunger-games-fans-dont-care-how-much-money-the-movie-made

    It’s a shame for those who didn’t see the movie over something like this. It was quite good.

  8. I don’t know what bothers me more, the racist comments or the fact that a lot of these people apparently don’t have any reading comprehension skills. The book clearly describes the Rue and Thresh characters as having dark brown skin. So the complaints that they should have stuck to the book are just idiotic. Lenny’s character is the only described as having short brown hair and green eyes, but it still shouldn’t matter that he was cast in the role.

    I’ve seen tweets on tumblr (a Hunger Games fan compiled the tweets and calls out the people on their stupidity) and what saddens me the most is that many of the people are my age (early 20′s) or younger.

  9. I hope KC, Kentucky fried is in here so she/he can read this. I have noticed you always have a snide remark about Kenzo or kids with darker complexions. You must have a problem with yourself and you’re probaly dark also. Kenzo is a beautiful little boy, more so than any other kid up here. I’m very light myself and I have never understood why black people diss our own so much. I have always heard negative comments about William sisters, Denzel’s wife, Kenzo, Madonna’s adopted daughter, etc, why? I find them all so beautiful and so does more white people than black…just sad. Ok folks finish with my rant, but I loves me some Kenzo, that’s my little man. He is just so gorgeous and I feel same way about Nahla, I don’t look at their complexion.

  10. Why does people let these ignorant people get them so upset? Can’t you smell the fear in the air? that smell equals to racism. Lets not forget the media also likes to blow things out of proportion. Yes it might have been a few racist remarks, some people changing names and repeating different comments. This little girl is a beautiful talented actress. Beleive me she have more people standing behind her than against her. I beleived the child to be indian,black,etc in the book. So how did majority of people think she was white? don’t believe the media’s hype.

  11. I read the books and saw the movie. I pictured Rue as black when reading the book because I can’t imagine what else ‘dark brown’ is likely to be. The people complaining either didn’t read the book or are illiterate . I also assumed Cinna was black although it’s apparently not stated in the book, maybe because he wears gold eyeliner and I figure that wouldn’t show up much on pale skin? Anyway all the black actors did a wonderful job. Amandla was the picture of innocence and I cried when her character died. One of the tweets said that her death wasn’t as sad because she was black and that really hurt me because I immediately thought of Trayvon and how his death was/is being handled. Such a sad world we live in.

  12. These events Trayvon Martin and the character Rue are not acts of ignorance racist but are dilabrate attacks of racism

  13. Amandla is an African word for Power. How fitting. :) With a name like that, little Amandla will be breaking through lots of barriers.

  14. What’s sad is that the main character is white. Isn’t that enough? Its so sad to be comfortable in the role of being “right” and the “center of attention” so much that you become so intolerable to other ways of being. I have a coworker who revealed to me that she went to a Walmart in a black neighborhood and it was such an epiphany for her to be a “minority” for the first time in her whole life. I’m thinking, wow, that’s a lesson I learned at such a young age. Sometimes I think being white is a handicap if you don’t consciously make a decision to step outside of the mythology handed to you about your identity. But then again, the same can be sad for any ethnicity.

  15. Racism in this country will NEVER end, we will NEVER see it in this lifetime, racist will always diminish all our efforts.

  16. I TRULY DONT THINK HEIDI KLUMS CAUCASION DAUGHTER IS PRETTY HOWEVER IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE. THE FACT THAT THESE PEOPLE DONT LIKE AMANDLA IN THIS MOVIE HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH RACE.

  17. Racism is to be expected. It has never died.
    Amandla is talented and pretty, she shouldn’t have to worry about the comments.
    I don’t care to see that demonic movie anyway. People are rushing to it like they did to the Twilight…smh

  18. I wish her well. Its unfortunate that we live in a country where skin color is still a pre-existing condition. But, we’ve come this far by faith and I dont think He brought us this far to leave us. Our eyes need to keep watching God.

    One more thing, it seems that since the election of President Obama all the masks have come off, and we are seeing some of our caucasian neighbors for who they have been all along behind the mask. It wont get better until they feel their grip on the power button in this country has been restored and no longer threatened.

    Sad but oh so true!

  19. And this just reminded me. Is the Annie remake with Willow Smith still going on? I think it is. How will White America respond to an African American Annie? That’s sad racism is still very much alive :( We haven’t got that far . I hope this cutie is cast in that movie with Willow! And I cried when she died in the movie. It was so sad. Like she was my child too. LOL

  20. This poor baby! She actually did release a statement . She’s so young. I hope she’s not hurt by it. I don’t understand the books clearly describe her as being black. Lol white people seriously ??! Read the book . That is all!

    • Actually, she is on record as having read the comments and she has taken the high road (positivity) in her statements.

  21. If you really pay attention to the books, it appears that the people of District 11 (where Rue was from) are slaves. I assumed that all of the people in District 11 were African American or dark skinned. I actually found it appalling that there were white people in the crowd representing District 11 in the movie. Anyway, I found Amandla to be extremely talented and beautiful in her depiction to Rue. Her response to the negativity further proves her maturity and ability to handle this vicious business. I wish her the best.

  22. Ignorance is at an all time high! Amandla please continue to be u sweetheart and let the negativity roll off u like water! U can’t please everyone it’s impossible and u shouldn’t try! When they stop talking about u then u worry! May God continue to bless u sweetheart because I know their comments has to hurt!

  23. ?????????????

    Everyone needs to get over it. There is ONE RACE. Of which we are ALL a part of. H U M A N.

    For God made our of one man, every nation of men to dwell upon the surface of the earth.

    Amen.

    • Please spare us the “get over it” because that negates our experiences and feelings which are real. Why should “we” get over it when it keeps happening?

  24. this is just sad and utter ignorance. amandla was given the role for a reason and it’s because she had the ablility and talent to play the role. i cannot stand racism. we even have situations where african americans (or what ever they want to call themselves)are racists to those who are darker than them! smh! as the human race we need to stick together. Every race is beautiful and worthy of tolerance and respect!

  25. Why can’t the post read, A movie with 3 black lead actors TOPS the box office!?” Wouldn’t that be more of an esteem booster?

    • I don’t think you could classify Amandla, Lenny, or the guy who played Thresh as “Lead Actors”. Supporting actors, yeah, but they definitely weren’t “Lead”.

  26. I don’t understand the focus on the few negative comments when the movie is #1 in the nation!! Doesn’t that speak for the majority!? My cousin was raped and beaten nearly to death by 3 BLACK men! She was 11….and black! Let’s stop the hatred on ALL sides in 2012. There are plenty victims of black crime as well!

      • Yes it does! The post it regarding 30 racist comments regarding this movie but mentions nothing sbout the 50 million people that have paid to see it. Why focus on the small minority and not the overwhelming majority?

        • The comments are from those who chose to make them public but there are many more who feel the same way and express the same sentiments in private. How do I know? I know from being in the room when these private or hidden conversations take place. Addressing them publicly and confronting the people who think this way takes social courage and allows for open dialogue that can create transformation or change. To keep acting as if these are isolated events obscures the historical impact that racism has had on the marginalized.

          • I guess it boils down to if you see the glass half full or half empty. I see it as a blockbuster with three lead black actors that is breaking records. Those numbers are not just coming from the black community. If the movie flopped due to racists then their ignorance would be validated.

          • I don’t care if it’s validated by movie sales. It’s a serious social issue that needs to be addressed openly.

    • Stop trying to pass the buck. The fact that their are still people who hate others for their race in 2012 is sad.

  27. Pure utter NONSENSE!!!…what? they ( white ppl )assumed Rue was white cause she had an awesome role in the book. It clearly say’s Rue has ” DARK SKIN “…what part of those words they did’nt UNDERSTAND!!!!! stay in school people and EDUCATE YOURSELF!!! when the Author wrote her book , SHE DECIDED who was going to play the roles in her book & the movie..she did’nt have a care in the world what YOU thought what Actor/Actress she play each part. GET A LIFE!!!. Keep your head up Amandla and stay strong , positive , beautiful & continue to make great movies!!!!.

  28. I saw the film and it’s all about power and territory (who owns what), including bodies. I won’t give any spoilers but there’s a scene in the movie that gave me pause but scared the crap out of some people. The premise of THG is perfect for this discussion but I can’t divulge too much for those who want to see it. Okay, just one spoiler as it relates to this post/thread (if interested see below):

    When Everdeen threw up a sign in salute Rue’s (Amandla’s) district revolted mode and it was predominantly black. There is a MESSAGE there, beyond the jobs the people in her district were doing.

  29. What bugs me about this is that people are taking just a “few” anonymous comments/tweets and making it seem like more than what it is. I’ve seen this “story” in five different places over the last week and everyone references the same 2 or 3 tweets. That’s it? Why don’t we also start publishing some of the negative and racist tweets made BY black Americans about others?

    • The racist backlash started last summer when the movie’s Black characters were announced. Some people complained about not only Rue/Amandla, but the other two black characters as well. It was not only 2 or 3 people reacting this way. Stop deluding yourself or trying to minimize these people’s racist behavior.

  30. Well what does “dark brown skin” mean to them then? The damn author, Suzanne Collins, described Rue as having “dark brown skin”…what else could that be? Indian? Mexican? Native Indian? I think NOT. Come on people, get a life. The role has obviously been cast to Amandla and the movie is out, so this nonsense is irrelevant, ridiculous and TOO DAMN LATE to be complaining about.

    Get over it!

    WOOHOO…GO AMANDLA!!! I hope these idiot didn’t bring her down, how terrible to take away from this little girls happiness.

  31. I thought i was the only one who felt upset at the comments white people (mainly) made about Rue/ Amandla. She is the perfect role for Rue as she looks sweet and angelic. Racism is still rife in our society and i think its worse in America cos no one talks about it (i am a South African and we address it all the time). In Glee, i was shocked at how violently americans reacted to the relationship of Mercedes and Sam (Amber Riley and Chord Overstreet). There were all kinds of racist remarks made about her(and funny enough, Amandla is half white- doesnt that mean anything to these racists?!!!)

  32. It just goes to show the people who read the book and are upset about this young lady playing Rue. Did not actually read the book wit the understand of dark brown skin. The movie was a great store and she did good for her part of the movie. People just need to learn to focus on whats important.

  33. She is a child for goodness sakes and I hope people’s ignorance has not affected her in any way. I was disgusted by some of the comments I read on twitter about her and her role and b/c she was black. Sad and it sickens me that people think this way.

  34. I haven’t seen the movie, but I do know this is a very beautiful young girl and this is not her first starring role. I’m pretty sure she will not be moved!!! I have no idea why people or media are even giving the comments any attn. It’s stupid really, when you ignore stupid people they usually go back under the rock from which they came. People, especially people of color don’t let anybody dictate your life..as long as you worry about ignoramouses being racist you’ll breed fearful children, just live and whoever doesn’t like..point them to the nearest bridge or tell them to go to hell in a handbasket!

  35. I saw the film and thought she did a great job. Her part actually made me cry in the theater. Lenny Kravitz did his part well too. Rue in the book is described as a brown skinned girl so of course rue was supposed to have been Black. It is ashamed people can’t see pass a person’s skin color these days however I am not surprised.

  36. Some people you just CANNOT change. Racism will be here after you die, I die, he dies and she dies. Only thing you can do about it is accept it, and keep going about your business.
    I’m sorry this actress had to experience racism at a young age.

  37. Those people are a sad, pitiful minority. Raise your children to love self 100%. I know I will. And that child is beautiful!

  38. Really? Seriously? Did anyone complain when Edward was a vampire or Jacob was a werewolf in the Twillight series? I mean really? SMH..SMH..SMH. I agree with you BCK. I can’t even finish..SMH.

  39. People are saying all kinds of racist remarks about her and calling her out of her name. They are saying the black actors ruined the movie experience for them. It’s a shame and pity that racism still exists in 2012 but some people will never change.

  40. MY DAUGHTER RECENTLY HAD TO READ THE BOOK, SHE SAID THE CHARACTER RUE WORKED IN THE FIELDS, SO SHE COMMENTED ON THAT BEING RACIST TO HER. IT IS SO SAD HOW EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED BUT NOTHING HAS CHANGED…..

  41. I hope her family continues to support her and reminds her to look pass the stupdity of those ignorant people.I’ve read some of the tweets regrading the charater Rue it’s really frustrating to hear!

  42. In my opinion, this nation really hasn’t progressed. Many Americans describe it as being “tolerant” as though people of colour are some sort of abomination that needs to be put up with! And we are described as “minorities” although people of non-white races put together are certainly the majority over the caucasian folks, in numbers. What is happening with the Trayvon Martin case is a true shame on this country and makes no sense in 2012. People expressing their anger over a movie for a black actress is a true shame on this country and makes no sense in 2012. Shaima Alawadi being beat to death in her home for no other reason than being a Muslim wearing hijab is a true shame on this country and makes no sense in 2012. Yet here in the “United” States of America, the land of the free, this is happening. Institutional racism is still happening. Trayvon Martin was not thought of as someone’s son when he was in the morgue. They let his killer walk out of the police station. If it was a white boy best believe his killer would not have walked out of that station and they would have been diligently searching for his family immediately. The arrogance of the racists, thinking this country is theirs, when their ancestors invaded this land and just took it over like it was no thing. I am truly hurt and moved to the core by these injustices plaguing not only this country, but the world. I hope this young lady is not brought down by the negativity ignorant people are expressing. There are more people for you than against you sweetie, much much more.

  43. Forget about those racist haters. They are the minority. I watched Hunger Games opening weekend and you could feel everybody’s sadness in the theatre when Rue died (the lady next to me was sobbing like her own child was killed). Amandla looks angelic and she was the perfect choice for Rue.

    • I was just thinking the same thing. The very vast majority of the people in my theater were white or Asian, but I could hear many of them crying during Rue’s death. Vocal minority’s like these jerks always seem to yell louder than anyone else. All of my friends at college (of various different ethnicities) were deeply saddened by both Rue’s & Thresh’s deaths & thought that their actors were perfectly cast, so these people are definitely a (very idiotic) minority.

      Besides, who did these people expect to play Rue & Thresh? Both are described in the books as dark-skinned & they’re from a district focused on agriculture in southern North America that’s stated to have people of varying skin colors. Obviously, these morons don’t know how to read.

  44. How sad,we have come far,but looks like we still have some ways to go!This is a child they are talking about,I am glad that she responded to tweets in a positive manner.And I pray to God she does not get a skin complex because of peoples racism!

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