I hate to admit this, but I’m guilty of this too. I tend to skim when it comes to descriptions of characters and when they had hired a black actress as Rue, I was definitely shocked. I was initially shocked, however, because I was glad that the producers had hired a black actress in what would have been a white role in order to diversify the cast. When I reread the book later, I had learned that it was actually the entire district that was black. Now that Collins had explicitly made them that way, there should have been no criticism from the fans toward the physical appearance of the character. Hearing that the negative responses were geared toward the discrepancies of how people imagined Rue versus the actress - instead of her skill - I am extremely appalled.
The series itself conveys a message of coming together, regardless of upbringing, in order to subvert the institution that has made the Capitol in power. If this is not a allegory for the constructed social hierarchy today that aids whiteness, then the theme of the books has been lost amongst the readers. I feel that it is truly a slap in the face to Collins to make apparent that an actress does not fall under the category of “white,” consequently making her one of the peasants in the districts. In Hunger Games terms, the fans are only reaffirming the construction that continues to keep the Capitol in power, while the other 12 districts exist only to serve them.