“Django Unchained” could become Quentin Tarantino’s most successful movie at the box office, but the film has been facing plenty of controversy. Action figures inspired by the movie have drawn the ire of a Los Angeles advocacy group, claiming the figures make a mockery of slavery and the history of African Americans.
The “Django Unchained” action figures are manufactured by National Entertainment Collectibles Association in partnership with the Weinstein Company. NECA produces many officially licensed figures from such franchises as “Harry Potter,” “E.T.,” “The Hunger Games” and “Assassin’s Creed.”
The “Django Unchained” action figures do not have a kung fu grip or any special features. The “Django Unchained” action figures are eight inches tall and feature tailored cloth clothing, accessories and “movie-accurate detail,” according to NECA. The construction of the action figures is not what is drawing the ire of Project Islamic Hope, an advocacy group, and several Los Angeles black community leaders, rather it’s how they represent history, according to The Associated Press.
Najee Ali, director of Project Islamic Hope, does not have any objections to “Django Unchained” film itself; in fact, he’s seen the movie twice, reports the AP. Speaking to the AP, Ali said, “We feel that it trivializes the horrors of slavery and what African-Americans experienced” and says the line of figures is "a slap in the face of our ancestors."
Ali has called for a press conference of local community leaders who want the “Django Unchained” action figures pulled from the market. The action figures are meant to be collectible, notes the AP, and are intended for an older audience. Unlike other movie franchises, or cartoons, the line of action figures are considered collectibles and not for children to recreate their favorite scenes from “Django Unchained.”
Neither The Weinstein Company nor NECA have commented about the action figure controversy.