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Zoethe

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Progress: not much [Mar. 11th, 2011|12:03 pm]
Zoethe
This week's issue of Entertainment Weekly has snapshots of the 10 young women Lionsgate says it's considering for the role of Katniss in "The Hunger Games" movie, along with poll results of reader favorites.

Not surprisingly, Hailee Steinfeld is the leader by miles. She's my first choice for the role as well.

But what strikes me is that not one of these women could even vaguely be considered a Person of Color. They are all people of Extreme White.

Now, Katniss is not specifically defined as a POC. It's mentioned that she has olive-toned skin, but not much is made of this. But neither is she defined as Caucasian. Furthermore, there's no particular reason why she has to be any particular race. So why is WHITE the only possible choice?

Didn't we just go through this with The Last Airbender?

How much longer, really?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: mariadkins
2011-03-11 05:07 pm (UTC)
ugh ugh ugh
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[User Picture]From: mariadkins
2011-03-11 05:07 pm (UTC)
although i must commend halle berry for insisting her daughter be considered black.
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[User Picture]From: bart_calendar
2011-03-11 05:16 pm (UTC)
Sometimes it works in reverse.

In the Jeffery Deaver mystery books Lincoln Rhyme is described as white but played by Denzel Washington in the movies.
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[User Picture]From: particle_man6
2011-03-11 05:51 pm (UTC)
Maybe we need another "The Wiz"?
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[User Picture]From: cinema_babe
2011-03-11 06:25 pm (UTC)
Because of the perception that more people will go to see a movie with a young, white woman in a major role. All the more so if she's blonde and considered pretty.

When will it change? Sadly, I'm not sure it if it ever will and I'm quite sure not in my lifetime (which theoretically could be into the 2040s.)
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[User Picture]From: penmage
2011-03-11 06:27 pm (UTC)
Agree with the frustration over whitewashing, but in this case it may be justified? From what I recall, Katniss's little sister Prim is described as very clearly Caucasian, so they might be modeling after that.
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[User Picture]From: rhapsody_98
2011-03-11 08:52 pm (UTC)
Exactly. She was only "olive" skinned because she was tanned from being in the woods so much. And since she's from Appalachia I'll tell you, there aren't a whole lot of black people up in the mountains. In the big cities, yes. Mountains, no.

I'd be more impressed if they considered a Native actress, perhaps Cherokee or Shawnee.
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[User Picture]From: mariadkins
2011-03-11 09:55 pm (UTC)
I can get behind that. :)
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[User Picture]From: lunabird
2011-03-12 12:03 am (UTC)
Gotta drop in my .02 in here as an olive skinned person originally from Appalachia -- All 'olive' really means is that A) your skin has a greenish tint to it, especially in certain lights and B) if you aren't tan in the first place then you probably tan really fast. My mother and maternal grandmother both have olive skin, with it getting progressively lighter with each generation -- but it should be noted that my sister got my father's complexion and has white-white skin with no olive tint to it. (She also burns instead of tanning.)

The olive tint is more noticeable when you're tanned, but, it's always there. I've actually been made fun of for it before while in one of my super pale phases -- I shot a guy down who had only seen me under florescent lights. He asked me if my skin was green because I never bathed. I stood and boggled for a moment.

Er, also, there's more black people in the Appalachian mountains than you would think: http://www.jstor.org/pss/274778
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[User Picture]From: mariadkins
2011-03-12 12:12 am (UTC)
oh i agree they're there - but not in the numbers you see in larger cities.
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[User Picture]From: rhapsody_98
2011-03-12 12:48 am (UTC)
Absolutely there are African Americans here (in South West Virginia and East Tennessee). But there all in the cities and towns: Bristol, Knoxville, Asheville, Johnson City, Rogersville, Roanoke, Sevierville. Out in the sticks, in say, Wise County, Tazewell County, Hawkins County, and Buchanan where my grandparents are from, there aren't any at all. So, if it's going to be true to form, and have Katness come from a mining location, there will be precious few blacks.
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[User Picture]From: mariadkins
2011-03-12 01:44 am (UTC)
yup.
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[User Picture]From: finding_helena
2011-03-12 03:47 am (UTC)
Agreed; my dad and I have olive-toned skin, but we're Caucasian.
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[User Picture]From: cathubodva
2011-03-13 12:49 am (UTC)
Yeah... My thoughts too. Now if they cast Rue as a white girl I will be upset, but Katniss? No, Katniss is probably white. At least her sister is.
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[User Picture]From: kid_lit_fan
2011-03-11 06:50 pm (UTC)
Not giving Lionsgate a pass, but the characters in The Last Airbender were explicitly POC in the series. If they cast Rue as a darkhaired white girl with a tan, THEN THG will be that bad. Also, if they cast every man, woman and child who is not Rue's family as white people, that's gonna be a problem.

One thing they ARE getting right is that they're not pushing sexy, Hollywood-looking young women wearing sligjtly less makeup than usual.

However, I desperately want them to make sure that most of the Seam people, especially Katniss and Gale, have "gray Seam eyes." It's obviously important to Collins, as it was to JK Rowling that Harry have his mother's green eyes. In this case, I'm wondering how much Suzanne Collins thought about the generally pale Appalachians (and Prim and her mom are blondes) and the Melungeon people...it's a fascinating possibility that Hollywood could COMPLETELY botch in service of getting a blow'em up summer blockbuster out. I hope not.
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[User Picture]From: rhapsody_98
2011-03-11 08:55 pm (UTC)
There are very few "full blooded" Melungeons anymore (and yes, I recognize the irony of that statement). The only people I know that actually are/have Melungeon blood are paler than I am (although I'm pretty pale in the winter time).

Not arguing that the Melungeons aren't POC, just lamenting the loss of a little more diversity as they get subsumed into the rest of the population.
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[User Picture]From: phillipalden
2011-03-11 07:13 pm (UTC)
I just don't count on cultural sensitivity (or much intelligence) from American TV and movie writers/directors/casting agents.
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