Jennifer Lawrence has apologized after discussing on TV an incident during the filming of “Hunger Games” when she used sacred Hawaiian rocks to relieve an itch.
The Oscar-winning actress said in a Dec. 2 appearance on the BBC’s “The Graham Norton Show” that when filming one of “The Hunger Games” movies in Hawaii in 2012 she had been told not to touch stones on the coast of Oahu, but after being in a wetsuit all day couldn’t help herself.
“There were sacred rocks…,” Lawrence recalled on the show. “[But] they were so good for butt-itching!”
Laughing, she continued: “One rock … ended up coming loose, and it was a giant boulder and it rolled down this mountain and it almost killed our sound guy!”
Lawrence, 26, added that “it was a huge dramatic deal and all the Hawaiians were like, ‘It’s the curse from our ancestors!’ And I’m in the corner going, ‘I’m your curse.'”
After the episode aired last week, many took to social media to express anger that Lawrence’s recounting of the episode was disrespectful toward Hawaiians.
By Friday, Lawrence addressed the criticism and took to Facebook to apologize.
“From Jen, to the internet,” she began. “I meant absolutely no disrespect to the Hawaiian people.”
“I really thought that I was being self deprecating about the fact that I was ‘the curse,'” Lawrence continued, “but I understand the way it was perceived was not funny and I apologize if I offended anyone.”
Kahokulua Haiku, a Hawaiian cultural expert who was on set to aid the “Hunger Games” production team in 2012, explained this week why the rocks are important to natives.
“It was an archaeological site,” he told People magazine. “It’s an ancient Hawaiian living site and there are several hundred burial caves right in that area.”
Haiku added that after the rock rolled away, he “kind of scold[ed] everyone in the area to be more careful.”
“I actually had them take the rock and put it back up the hill,” he recalled. “We were pretty serious about it, but they seemed to think it was funny. Fortunately, this rock was not part of the burial site.”