Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably seen Quentin Tarantino's opus on slavery in America, and you probably caught wind of the controversy that surrounds it. Django Unchained is nominated for a handful of Oscars, has become the filmmaker's highest grossing movie in North America and is a major powerhouse in the European market right now, but it hasn't arrived on the scene without a fair share of criticism from directors like Spike Lee and Najee Ali, director of the Los Angeles civil rights organization Project Islamic Hope. Both called the violent revenge tale a slap in the face to their ancestors. "American slavery was not a Sergio Leone spaghetti Western. It was a holocaust," Lee expressed.
Enter the Django Unchained action figures. The dolls include a likeness of freed slave Django (played by Jamie Foxx) and his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), and slave owner Clavin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). They were created for mature audiences (17 and older), but that didn't matter. They infuriated people. Al Sharpton's National Action Network called them "highly offensive," concerned that the dolls would appeal more to children. "We don't want other individuals to utilize them for their entertainment, to make a mockery of slavery," a NAN representative said.
The Weinstein Co. has since stepped in and stopped production on the figures. "We have tremendous respect for the audience and it was never our intent to offend anyone," the company stated. Actions figures have been created for Tarantino's other movies, including Inglourious Basterds. That line of toys featured a replica of Christoph Waltz's antagonist in the 2009 film, Austrian SS officer Colonel Hans Landa.
Did the company make the right decision?