Hunger Games Fans Appalled by Theme Park, Partner with Activist Organizations to Take Back the Narrative
Mockingjay, Part 2, the final installment of the Hunger Games series, hits theaters worldwide this week, but fan reactions have not been all positive. A storm of outrage brewed online recently when concept art was released for the upcoming Hunger Games theme park. This marked the latest in a series of questionable marketing decisions that have led many fans to ask if Lionsgate has even watched their own films.
In this final movie, Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is leading the oppressed, poverty-stricken Districts in a rebellion against the tyrannical Capitol. While the movie’s marketing team uses the story to sell makeup lines, cars, and Subway sandwiches, fans are using #MyHungerGames to take back the narrative.
The Harry Potter Alliance, a nonprofit made up of fans who use the power of story to fight real world injustices, is highlighting personal stories of economic inequality and sharing tools for taking action at MyHungerGames.Org. This effort is the third and final incarnation of the group’s annual Odds In Our Favor campaign, which strives to bring attention to the harsh impacts of economic inequality.
Participation in the campaign is widespread with fans in Norway, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands organizing “All Districts Welcome,” a project to provide relief and advocacy in relation to the Syrian refugee crisis and Floridian fans holding local foods dinners to highlight the connection between climate change and economic inequality. In Missoula, Montana, fans are organizing a curated sharing of local #MyHungerGames stories at an art gallery to coincide with the movie release. Around the world, fans are using the true message of The Hunger Games, not the often tone-deaf marketing, to inspire change.
Speaking of that marketing, fans have taken the message even further in protest of the Hunger Games theme park that was recently announced, using #MyHungerGames on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook to share their ideas for what an amusement park that truly represents the themes and realities of the books would look like.
Here’s a sampling of what we’ve seen so far:
“How about a fairway game where you juggle balls labeled ‘rent,’ ’food,’ ‘utilities’ and ‘medical.’ If you drop one, you end up homeless.” Jillian Eleventhirtyeight
Hunger Games Theme Park: pay $50k to work 4 years to get on a ride, when you get there the ride is closed. @janaeisms
“Your salary must be THIS HIGH” signs outside of the best rides. @iceymoon
“Signs outside rides: ‘You must have at least 3 years of experience on this ride before you are allowed to ride this ride’” @RubyRedFirefly
The work towards economic equality will continue long after the movies are done, so the HPA is providing ways for fans to connect with organizations who are working for economic, racial and social justice. This Coalition of Rebels is sharing first-hand stories about their work to reduce economic inequality and create change in the areas of mental health, prison reform, racial justice, climate change and more at MyHungerGames.org. The coalition includes: Oxfam, AFL-CIO, Fusion, STAND, Story of Stuff, Campaign for Youth Justice, Project UROK, Thunder Valley Community Development Corp, Until We Are All Free, Showing Up for Racial Justice, OURWalmart, and more.
The Harry Potter Alliance turns fans into heroes, and the Odds in Our Favor campaign helps those heroes become the rebels the Capitol has always feared — ones who see the injustice in the world and are not afraid to speak out against it.
The Harry Potter Alliance (thehpa.org) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that turns fans into heroes. We’re changing the world by making activism accessible through the power of story. Since 2005, we’ve engaged millions of fans through our work for equality, human rights, and literacy. Last year’s incarnation of Odds In Our Favor appeared in outlets such as The New Yorker, CNN.com, Wired, and more. Go here to see more from last year’s campaign and visit MyHungerGames.Org to submit your own stories.