Advocacy group and Amazon customers call for their removal from the market
Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" has already been the subject of criticism for its bloody violence and frequent use of the N-word, but now action figures from the film are causing the next wave of outrage.
The National Entertainment Collectibles Association, Inc. (NECA) — a company that has produced toys for movies including "Hunger Games," "Predators" and "Rocky" — partnered with the Weinstein Company to release eight-inch tall figurines for sale on Amazon and people aren't happy about it.
Najee Ali, director of the advocacy group Project Islamic Hope, told AP that the collectible line of movie merchandise is "a slap in the face of our ancestors" and is hoping for their removal from the market.
And unlike Spike Lee, who refuses to watch Tarantino's latest out of respect for his ancestors, Ali wasn't opposed to Tarantino's depiction of slavery or use of racial slurs in the revenge tale. He admits to seeing it twice, but feels the plastic personifications of the characters in the film "trivializes the horrors of slavery and what African Americans experienced."
So far, customer reviews on Amazon agree.
"Slavery is not something to play with," one of many comments in the same vein read. "These toys will fall in the hands of people who may think it is ok to mimic how slaves were treated. Please take these dolls off the market."
"If fans of this film want to collect memorabilia and action figures based off of a movie they enjoyed, it is a far stretch to say that the makers of this movie are attempting to make money off of slavery," one supportive collector wrote. "There is nothing racist about making a toy based off of a character from a movie."
As the racial debate over "Django Unchained" continues, the movie is raking in big bucks at the box office. With over $108 million accumulated domestically, Tarantino's latest is on pace to become his biggest success yet at the box office.
Due to the sensitive subject matter, it is on track to becoming Tarantino's most controversial, too.
The Weinstein Company did not immediately respond to TheWrap's request for comment on the action figures, while NECA responded with no comment "at the moment."