The salute from The Hunger Games movie is a positive part of Katniss Everdeen and company’s taking over the bad guys, but if you do it in Thailand, it can get you arrested.
Made famous by the popular film trilogy, the three-finger salute that Katniss used to spread solidarity among her people got five students arrested on Wednesday, Nov. 19. in Bangkok. Apparently, the students flashed the salute at Thailand’s prime minister during an official government event, and they were immediately taken into military custody, The Hollywood Reporter said.
A human rights lawyer told the Bangkok Post that to avoid being expelled from the law school they attend, the students had to sign a document promising to stop engaging in any more political activity.
Earlier this year, the salute began being used by protestors to defy the Thai military coup last May that put the current prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, in place. He is the general that led the takeover of Thailand’s civilian government after protests had Bangkok paralyzed for months.
The arrests came just hours before The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 was to premiere, and a local theater actually pulled the film from being released there on Thursday. The theater company, Apex Group, told the Post that it was not forced by the government to take the film out, but they did not want a political showdown to happen at the location.
The theater owners also revealed that one of their two theater locations was going to be used as a site for an opposing group to bring their people together and protest the new (albeit supposedly temporary) prime minister. “We feel our theaters are being used for political movements,” Apex told the Post.
The theater is going to show Woody Allen’s new film Magic in the Moonlight in place of the now-controversial movie, standing to lose about $30,500 in revenue that Mockingjay was supposed to bring in. Other theaters will be showing the new Hunger Games installment as planned, however.