Slavery-era action figures tied to Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained are raising questions about whether they’re appropriate.
A line of figures of the movie’s main characters are on sale online, manufactured by toy maker NECA in partnership with the Weinstein Co.
Najee Ali, director of the advocacy group Project Islamic Hope, plans a news conference with other Los Angeles black community leaders calling for the removal of the toys from the market.
Ali called the action figures “a slap in the face of our ancestors.”
“We were outraged,” said Ali, upon learning of the figures. “We feel that it trivializes the horrors of slavery and what African Americans experienced.”
The action figures are collectibles recommended for people older than 17. Tarantino has had such figures made for all of his films, including his last, Inglourious Basterds. That film, too, reveled in a revenge fantasy set in history — Nazi Germany.
The Weinstein Co. and NECA didn’t immediately comment.
Ali made clear his objections were not with the film Django Unchained, which he said he liked and had seen twice.
Though controversial in its unusual melding of historical atrocity and movie mayhem, Django Unchained has proven a hit at the box office, where it has earned $106.3 million since opening Christmas. It’s also been nominated for five Golden Globes — although none for its African-American stars Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington and Samuel L. Jackson, which has been another point of controversy.