Quentin Tarantino’s new movie Django Unchained starring Jamie Foxx is a hit but folks are outraged that movie execs approved a slave doll.
The eight-inch tall figurines, which include depictions of “house slave” Stephen (played by Samuel L Jackson in the film) and Jamie Foxx’s Django, have been produced by the National Entertainment Collectibles Association following consultation with the Weinstein Company, which produced Tarantino’s film.
Najee Ali, director of the Los Angeles civil rights organization Project Islamic Hope, said the toys are “a slap in the face of our ancestors” and is calling for their removal from sale.
“We were outraged,” Ali said. “We feel it trivializes the horrors of slavery and what African Americans experienced.”
However, Ali is not opposed to the depiction of slavery in Django Unchained, nor its liberal use of the word “nigger”. Director Spike Lee, seen below, has spoken out against the film, promising not to see it and tweeting: “American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them.” Ali, by way of contrast, has seen the film twice.
The Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network is also calling for a boycott of the action figures. “Selling this doll is highly offensive to our ancestors and the African-American community,” Rev KW Tulloss, NAC’s president in Los Angeles, told the New York Daily News. “The movie is for adults, but these are action figures that appeal to children. We don’t want other individuals to utilize them for their entertainment, to make a mockery of slavery.”
The Django dolls, which are intended as collectibles for adults and are the latest in a series of Tarantino memorabilia pieces created for fans of his films, are on sale online via sites such as Amazon.
So far reaction from potential customers has been mixed. “Really this is some racist Shhht! The movie was good, but this is inexcusable,” wrote one commenter. “So do the accessories include whips, chains and klan members?” Another wrote: “I am in complete shock that someone would exploit the struggle of my ancestors and the entire freedom movement with such tasteless, classesless, and disgusting ‘action figures’. Shame on Amazon for even selling these.”