Django Unchained has courted controversy from the beginning due to its setting and depiction of American slavery. However, it’s always walked the line between racist/not racist. However, that was before there were action figures.
Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network called for a national boycott Tuesday of the action figures – some of which are based on Jamie Foxx’s Django, Samuel L. Jackson’s Stephen, and Kerry Washington’s Broomhilda. “Selling this doll is highly offensive to our ancestors and the African American community,” Rev. K.W. Tulloss, NAN’s president in Los Angeles.
Najee Ali from Project Islamic Hope spoke alongside Tulloss in Los Angeles Tuesday and said, “I actually enjoyed the movie, but we cannot support this type of commercialization. I don’t seen any dolls representing Hitler that came from Tarantino’s (Holocaust movie Inglourious Basterds)…I don’t see them making dolls of Holocaust survivors who are bald and starving in concentration camps.”
To that point, it should be said that action figures are available for most Quentin Tarantino films including Basterds however Hitler and Holocaust survivors are not available. Nor were they when the Captain America toy line launched.
On one side of the issue, it’s crass and too soon. On the other side, it could be viewed as empowering to have a figure based on slave-turned-savior. Bottom line, the toys aren’t for everyone. If anyone is interested in giving them to their children, they do so with the responsibility of educating them about that period of American history. And also, don’t open them. They’re collector’s items now. (NY Daily News)