Being released next month to theaters is the highly anticipated sequel, ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’. The sequel hasn’t been dealing with controversy leading up to its release unlike its predecessor and the first film of the franchise, ‘The Huger Games’. The first film dealt with controversy along the lines of racism but also children violence. ‘The Huger Games’ is based off the popular book franchise of the same name so it was inevitable that movies based off of the books would be made. But when ‘The Hunger Games’ was being made and leading up to its release, the element of kids or teens killing other kids or teens that is used in the story began to rub people the wrong way. Adam B. Vary for Entertainment Weekly gave his thoughts by saying, “Lost in the shuffle may be whether the film, based on Suzanne Collins’ wildly popular young-adult novel, is actually appropriate for young adults. The core story, after all, is 24 teenage kids literally killing each other as a brutal national television spectacle.”
I’m sure many people agree that they would prefer not to see kids harming other kids, especially in a movie that is based off a book that was targeted to them. All of the fuss would be justified if the same upset groups felt the same about violence being done by adults in many other movies. People look at kids and their safety as a more sensitive subject which is understandable but if the danger of violence is what’s being worried about then violence in movies among adults should be looked at as more of a problem then.
Violence being acted out by the youth, from the media’s perspective, has become more prevalent thanks to violent video games, song lyrics and even movies like ‘The Hunger Games’. Ohio University Sociology professor Aisha Tufail teaches her sociology classes that the previous statement is an assumption and a flawed assumption at that. “While homicides that are done by teens have been increasing, so have homicides that have been committed by adults” said Tufail. “Also young adults are the most likely to commit a homicide, not kids. When it comes to arrests, those numbers favor adults, and not in a good way. From 1997 – 2006, the arrest numbers for those under 18 years old committing violence acts declined by 20%. During that same time period, the numbers for adults who got arrested for committing violent acts only decreased 10%.
With those statistics, an assumption can be made that some children are influenced in a negative way after seeing things like child violence in movies like ‘The Hunger Games’. What can also be taken away from those statistics is that adults might be more affected by what they’re seeing in media. Ohio University student Shannon Egan believes violence from all age groups in media does some way influence some people’s actions in real life. But she still feels the element of children violence is still tougher to deal with. “There’s a certain innocence about children that society expects to be preserved until adulthood” said Egan. “And the raw non-hesitant violence portrayed in ‘The Hunger Games’ is disturbing due to this loss of innocence.
Violence in the media, whether frowned upon for having violence done by kids or adults, seems to still intrigue people. Many films released every year have violence committed by adults in it so that means there’s an audience for it and even with ‘The Hunger Games’ too. With all the controversy surrounding it, the movie went on to gross $155 million its opening weekend which is the third-best opening weekend of all time. The kids’ violence in the film must not of scared too many away because the anticipation for the sequel is gigantic. Get a feel for the sequels excitement with this Storify story:
To be upset at children violence in film is the right of anybody. But then to be completely fair and justified, that same person should see adult violence as a problem also since it’s shown that adults might be the more vulnerable group when it comes to being influenced.