Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The silver lining to the Hunger Games display of Twitter racism

Most readers of this blog will probably already be well aware of the disgusting displays of racism on Twitter by Hunger Games fans who were just shocked -- shocked, I tell you! -- that a couple beloved characters whom they pictured in their minds as having adorable white skin were cast as scary brown people. Never mind that the book explicitly mentions the characters had "dark skin", of course...

But there's a silver lining here: It reminds us that there's a reason Hollywood rarely deviates from the formula of the white male protagonist, and it's not because the movie studios are secretly in league with Stormfront and MRAs. It's because that's what audiences expect. The only way to change that is to be really vocal that, at least for this audience member, that is not what we expect.

To be honest, as a white male, it's really easy to just not even notice this trend. When I am supposed to identify with the protagonist, it is not hard, because that guy looks just like me (Yes, I totally look like Brad Pitt. I promise!). It doesn't even seem weird to me most of the time.

Even though it's freakin' tragic that there are people who feel this way, the fact that Twitter is giving them an easy platform for expressing their vile bigotry is maybe a good thing: It shakes the rest of us out of our complacency. It reminds me, as a person of privilege, that it's actually sort of messed up that most movie protagonists look like me. And it reminds me to care about that.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty sure there's a Cracked article on this very thing. :D