The release of Hunger Games has been marred by a series of racist tweets by viewers objecting the decision to cast an African-American girl as Rue, one of the book's characters.
The adaptation of the young adult novel by Suzanne Collins has already proven to be a smash hit, taking £4.85 million over its opening weekend in the UK - the biggest box office hit of 2012 so far (and more than double Twilight's first premiere). This is after becoming the third most profitable debut movie ever in the US, where it took $152.5 million (£96.1 million) in its opening weekend.
But this success hasn't deterred certain users of Twitter who, as reported on Jezebel, were upset by the casting of 13-year-old Amandla Sternberg.
"Why does Rue have to be black," said one user whose page has subsequently been removed. "Not gonna lie, kinda ruined the movie."
Another user said: "Awkward moment when Rue is some black girl and not the innocent blonde girl you picture"
“call me racist but when I found out rue was black her death wasn't as sad #ihatemyself” Tweeted another.
A third, perhaps illustrating the average intelligence of the vexed minority, complained: “sense when has Rue been a nigger”.
The ignorance of these Tweets is made all the more laughable when you consider that Rue is described very clearly in the book as having ‘dark brown skin’.
So not only racist then but not particularly attentive readers, either.
Most of those who left offensive comments have either deleted their original tweets or their accounts after an outpouring from fans looking to put them right.
But many of the original tweets - and some of the wittiest responses - have been documented in their own Tumblr called Hunger Games Tweets.
The controversy over the casting for Hunger Games - when similiar complaints were made - first occured when the movie posters featuring Sternbery and Lenny Kravitz were released, as reported on The Huffington Post in November.
It seems to continue a worrying trend for Twitter after the recent on field collapse of footballer Fabrice Muamba was mocked by a student who may now face jail for inciting racial hatred, which followed a separate, similar incident involving a student accused of racially abusing Stan Collymore.
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more