Amandla Stenberg is one dignified 13 year-old.
The adorable actress memorably played Rue in The Hunger Games, which opened last weekend to rave reviews and a staggering $155 million box office. But the young star's triumphant turn as the District 11 tribute (and ally to Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss) was nearly spoiled, thanks to a slew of shocking, racist tweets by supposed fans of Suzanne Collins' young adult novel.
On Wednesday, Stenberg spoke out on the controversy. "As a fan of the books, I feel fortunate to be part of The Hunger Games family," she told Us Weekly in a statement. "It was an amazing experience; I am proud of the film and my performance. I want to thank all of my fans and the entire Hunger Games community for their support and loyalty."
Stenberg and costar Dayo Okeniyi (who played District 11's Thresh) were shockingly attacked on Twitter over The Hunger Games' opening weekend. While both Rue and Thresh are described as having "dark brown skin" in the book, some clueless fans objected that both Stenberg and Okeniyi are black.
One bigoted fan complained, "Why does rue have to be black not gonna lie kinda ruined the movie."
Tweeted another: "Why did the producer make all the good characters black?"
Several tweeters even used the "N" word decrying the casting of the two stars.
Through his rep, actor Okeniyi had no comment about the controversy.