Donald Sutherland: “President Snow is Not Evil”

Donald Sutherland: “President Snow is Not Evil”

Neither are human trafficking pimps, either, I suppose.

In a recent interview about his character, President Snow, Donald Sutherland said that he was not evil. He said that Snow is only doing his job as a lifelong bureaucrat, continuing its way as it has been since before his time, or something like that. That remark made me think, “Oh, so that’s why he didn’t feel as evil as he should have in the movie!” Because while Sutherland was great as Snow, he sure wasn’t evil enough—and in the book, Snow certainly is. I don’t think that Donald Sutherland has read the books. (Spoilers to follow.)

Coriolanus Snow’s mouth is always bloody. You wonder if it’s because he drinks blood, but it is later revealed that he poisoned and killed so many people in order to become president that he, himself, is poisoned, having ingested the substances himself to develop a sort of immunity that has left him slowly dying in the process. Is this really not evil, or should we just expect “bureaucrats” to poison people?

Should we also expect them to pimp out children as sexual slaves? Because by book three we know that Snow does this to the tributes who win their Hunger Games, such as poor tortured Finnick Odair, who is regularly sexually abused in order to protect his one true love. Johanna Mason and Haymitch Abernathy, who refused, were made into examples, their families and loved ones murdered to punish them for refusing to serve as sex slaves for capitol citizens. This isn’t evil?

And the Hunger Games themselves must be seen as pure evil! If allowing twelve-year-olds to fight one another to the death for entertainment isn’t evil, I am not sure what is. It’s not even as if it’s just “the times,” as we tend to excuse slavery (which still happens, by the way), gladiators, female genital mutilation (again, still happening) and other things that are most definitely evil. This is a culture well aware of its history that has instituted this graphic violence as a means to control its population—not unlike how our government uses many different devices (such as throwing around the words “freedom” and “patriotism” during speeches when we need to be scared, or making us recite the Pledge of Allegiance and memorize false histories to instill loyalty from kindergarten on up) to keep us in line as well. So, yeah, he’s a bureaucrat, but he’s also a murderer and a pimp and who knows what else. And if that means that he’s not evil, well, perhaps the term should simply be made an evil one itself.