The controversy over the portrayal of slavery and Black characters in Quentin Tarentino’s latest epic Django Unchained has taken a new turn following reports of the discontinuation of the accompanying collectable action figure series featuring enslaved characters from the film, after they were heavily criticised by civil rights activists.
The modern take on the spaghetti western genre tells the story of a freed slave who travels across America to rescue his wife from an evil Mississippi plantation owner.
The dolls are no longer being sold directly from Amazon.com, though featured merchants on the website are selling them for more than $750, with prices going up to $8,000 for the collectibles which will undoubtedly be even more highly-sought following the news.
TMZ reports that Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and Project Islamic Hope spoke out about the dolls and the North American distributors of the film The Weinstein Company, with both groups asking toy makers to cease production. Najee Ali, the director of civil rights group Project Islamic Hope lead a protest outside of the Golden Globe Awards with hopes of raising awareness of the issue and said: “Tarantino and Weinstein didn’t have action figures for their movie Inglorious Basterds because they know the Jewish community would never allow it, and the African-American community shouldn’t allow anyone to disrespect our ancestors.”