“The Hunger Games” was banned in China…Why not in the USA too?

I went to see the movie, “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins this weekend and was shocked.I knew it had been banned in China, but did not think too much about it; however, after I saw the movie, I came away thinking, “How could so many people ($152 million in the first Weekend box office) want to watch such gratuitous physical and psychological violence”. I then actually became scared when I learned that the book version won the California Young Reader’s Medal Award which is voted by our children in California as their favorite book of the year for 2011.

It became more clear when I learned that Ms. Collins was inspired to write this book from a combination of the Iraqi War and US Reality TV shows. Is this what are children should gravitate towards?

Now it’s clear to me why the Chinese said “No” to this movie…the Chinese have been working very hard in the last ten year to re-instill civilized way of life back into the mainstream public in China. It was not long ago that China suffered from lack of food and violence like this movie. Now, with new found stability and economic prosperity, the Chinese government realizes that many of its citizens have forgotten to be courteous to others and other basic civilities. Therefore, now one literally sees many signs to be polite, messages played in public places like elevators not to push, etc…. One also sees many statues of Confucius being placed in cities all over China to reinforce moral conduct. It is obvious that the Chinese are trying to raise the quality of life in China (not only the economy). I discuss many of these cultural points of change in my book on Doing Business with China as well.

It is no surprise that this novel has also been very controversial in the US; it ranked in fifth place on the American Library Association‘s list of frequently challenged books for 2010, the reasons being it was unsuited to the age group, and violent.”

This is definitely a case where we should take China’s lead and not allow our youth to be exposed to such violence so that we desensitize their emotions to such tragedy, even if the story might have a twisted ending that has some glimmer of hope.