When fans of The Hunger Games started a project to fight real world hunger, instead of supporting them, the studio producing the movie threatened legal action if the initiative wasn't shut down.
After hearing about the studio's threat, Holly McCready, a Hunger Games fan who had joined the Hunger Is Not a Game project, started a petition on Change.org asking the studio, Lionsgate, to let fans like her fight hunger. She urged Lionsgate to stop playing the part of The Capitol.
In just a few days, more than 18,000 people signed Holly's petition. A representative from Lionsgate responded to the public outcry, telling the LA Times that they would not pursue legal action and they encouraged the efforts of other organizations tackling world hunger.
“When I heard Lionsgate had changed its mind and is now supporting the work of fans like me, it really hit me: Just like in the books, coming together for a common cause is the way to make change," Holly said. "I’m humbled so many people joined the campaign.”
I loved the Hunger Games books. This amazing story with its parallels toward real world hunger inspired me to to help people whose stories are never broadcast on the silver screen. But Lionsgate is trying to shut down an anti-hunger initiative launched by fans like me.
I want to help people who've been treated all their lives like pawns in a big game. I was thrilled that there was a campaign called “Hunger Is Not A Game” initiated by the Imagine Better Project to channel fan enthusiasm toward challenging the root causes of hunger. Now Lionsgate is playing the part of The Capitol by challenging our campaign because it “ is causing damage to Lionsgate and [their] marketing efforts.”
Instead of treating us like an enemy, Lionsgate should embrace our heart and hard work. Advocating to feed the hungry and bring about a change should celebrated. I know that together we can make a difference.
The Hunger is Not a Game initiative has already given me the opportunity to act on the themes that moved me within the Hunger Games series, and I’ve already been able to work end poverty and hunger--and it’s even gained the attention of The New York Times. Every fan should have the same opportunity.
Tell Lionsgate to stand with us, not against us.