Django Unchained Action Figures Discontinued: Are They Really More Offensive Than the Film?

Looks like the Django Unchained controversy is not done yet. The movie depicted racism in a way that offended many. Director Quentin Tarantino accused an Academy Award-winner of racism. Toymaker NECA released miniature slaveholder action figures. Weinstein Brothers, finally having cracked under the pressure, has asked for the discontinuation of action figures for the film.

The toys in point are miniature replicas of various characters from the film, including former slave and the film's protagonist Django (Jamie Foxx), bounty hunter and the protagonist's mentor King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), slave owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), servant Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson) and slave Broomhilda Von Shaft (Kerry Washington).

Both Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network and Naji Ali's Project Islamic Hope had previously attacked the figures, calling for a national boycott.

Interestingly, Ali had claimed that he had seen Django Unchained itself twice and said he "actually enjoyed the movie." However, both organizations felt they did not want "other individuals to utilize [the action figures] for their entertainment, to make a mockery of slavery."

According to Weinstein's official statement, "In light of the reaction to the 'Django Unchained' action figures, we are removing them from distribution. We have tremendous respect for the audience and it was never our intent to offend anyone. They were meant to be collectibles for people 17 years and older, which is the audience for the film."

Despite the controversy, or possibly because of it, Tarantino's latest film is also his most financially successful and has netted a Best Picture nod at the upcoming Academy Awards. Of course, the general public and the Academy Awards have never condoned racism so that means the movie is great.

Quentin Tarantino's previous hit, Inglorious Basterds, also had supplementary action figures, portraying miniature versions of Christoph Waltz as Nazi Colonel Hans Landa and Brad Pitt as American soldier Lt. Aldo Raine.

How much offense someone chooses to take or not take with a film varies with the viewer but, as Tarantino has shown and stated on more than one occasion, he doesn't give a damn what you think. So, if Weinstein were genuinely worried about offending people, they wouldn't have hired Tarantino anyway.

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Abdul R. Siddiqui

Abdul is a graduate of CUNY Baruch, as part of the Macaulay Honors program. He has interned with the New York City Housing Authority, Macaulay, and PolicyMic. He currently contributes to PolicyMic, DramaFever, and NewLogical.

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