March 26, 2012 at 5:25 PM ET
Even though the character of Rue in Suzanne Collins' book "The Hunger Games" is described as having "dark brown skin and eyes," many moviegoers were surprised -- some negatively -- that a young black actress played the role in the film.
(Spoiler alert: Details of the plot of "The Hunger Games" revealed ahead.)
In an article headlined "Racist Hunger Games Fans Are Very Disappointed," the blog Jezebel pointed out that a Tumblr site called Hunger Games Tweets has been collecting tweets reacting to the casting.
Amandla Stenberg, 13, plays Rue, a 12-year-old tribute from District 11 who fights alongside heroine Katniss Everdeen in the movie's murderous tournament. According to Wikipedia, Stenberg's mother is African-American and her father Danish. She also appeared in the 2011 film "Colombiana."
While some of the comments are mere surprise, others are more opinionated. "Why does rue have to be black not gonna lie kinda ruined the movie," wrote one moviegoer on Twitter. Wrote another, "Kk call me racist but when I found out Rue was black her death wasnt as sad #ihatemyself."
Both of those accounts appear to have been deleted from Twitter since Jezebel called out the posts, but numerous other posts quoted on Hunger Games Tweets offer up similiar thoughts.
Some tweets also referenced other "Hunger Games" characters played by black actors, including Rue's fellow District 11 tribute, Thresh, and the "Games" stylist Cinna, played by musician Lenny Kravitz.
Rue's skin color should hardly have been a secret. In addition to being spelled out in the book, Stenberg and Kravitz were among those pictured in individual character posters released back in October.
As the Jezebel article and the Tumblr link spread, a backlash against the racist sentiments appeared on Twitter.
Wrote Michelle Juett, "People disgust me. Rue was great, whatever race you thought she was supposed to be."
And Andria Nicole tweeted, "Heads up: if discovering Rue is black 'ruins' the Hunger Games movie for you, you have a lot bigger issues to worry about than casting."
And by Monday afternoon, the author of Hunger Games Tweets had seen some change, posting the message, "The number of Tweets complaining about Rue & Thresh have been greatly reduced and it's all thanks to you guys."
Are you surprised by the reaction? Tell us on Facebook.