Django Unchained Action Figures: Offensive to African-Americans?

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Controversy surrounding Django Unchained and its use of the N-word may have subsided, but a new scandal has erupted over Quentin Tarantino's thriller.

No, not over its inclusion among the 2013 Academy Awards nominees.

But over the action figures that recently went on sale, and which Al Sharpton's National Action Network believes are an insult to African-Americans everywhere.

Action Figures

"Selling this doll is highly offensive to our ancestors and the African American community," Rev. K.W. Tulloss, NAC's president in Los Angeles, told The New York Daily News.

"The movie is for adults, but these are action figures that appeal to children. We don't want other individuals to utilize them for their entertainment, to make a mockery of slavery."

Such a sentiment echoes Spike Lee's take on the film in general, which he believes is "disrespectful to [his] ancestors."

Also like Lee, Tulloss admits he has not actually seen the movie.

No word yet from the National Entertainment Collectibles Association or the Weinstein Company, but what about you, THGers?

Do you think marketing figures from Django Unchained to children is offensive?


I guarantee you Nat Turner or John Brown would prefer DJango Unchained to any Spike Lee movie!


I'll reserve judgment on the movie until I see it, but have read enough reviews/articles to have a basic idea. What I will say is that this is advertising and goods that many companies do for all their movies (Hello massive Disney movie and product machine). How many adults out there have a few old school Star Wars action figures from childhood? How many adult women (you would be surprised!) adore their trendy Blythe dolls? My point: these arent meant to be played with by children any more than you would let your 4 year old son open a mint condition Obi-wan Kenobi. They are ADULT collector's "toys." They go on shelves, no one is wrapping up Broomhilda for your 8 year old niece.






Odd, I grew up as a sharecropper’s daughter in Mississippi. . I was born in 1950, went through a school system that only showed Blacks in subservient or demeaning roles. So if you are aware of any history you can see what life lessons I have had privy to. The Big Lie was that the Negroes just took what happened to them without a fight. They wanted you to believe that there were no Django like Black Men out there. In any case, I am now a retired educated and vested member of the Middle Class. I have no regrets about my many years of picking cotton and other various forms of work visited upon poor Blacks in the south. I now collect Black dolls, a passion born from the fact that I could not get one as a child. But in my collection are two Female Slave Dolls. I was elated when I got them. One is a slave Woman from Jamaica and the other is from a Slave plantation in America. When I look at these dolls I don’t see anything degrading. I see two Black Women who had to have tremendous courage and tenacity. They raised children whom they knew could be torn from them at any moment. They nurtured Black Men by giving dignity to them when no one else would. They showed love for children that they knew full well would one day grow up to look at them in disgust. The institution of slavery is blight on the reputation of this country. But it happened. Our laws, our government allowed it. The people it happened to did not cause it, nor should they feel any shame for it. Refusing to speak of it or show its images, in my eyes, spits on the lives of all those who lived through it. Human dignity, given to us by God, cannot be stifled by a situation or an institution. Humans can show dignity in whatever state of life they find themselves in. Be it the bonds of slavery or the White House. Django’s character is a man of such human dignity who’s spirit was not been broken by the degrading institution of slavery. When I think of Black Men like that no negative adjectives come to my mind. I only see dignity. I will be adding Django to my collection. He will be one of few Black men I have, one being a Black G. I. Joe. All you who feel these dolls are an insult to Black culture need to be able to separate the act from the person. Slavery is the act. No one who was ever captured by it had anything to do with its creation. They did not choose it or rule it. What they did was live through by willing their minds, hearts, and bodies to believe in their own human worth and not be defeated by an unjust institution. They found ways to be men and women in spite of what their masters or society labeled them as. All who disagree with me have a right to, but I pray that you will look deeper into a subject before yielding an opinion on it, especially when your opinion is not based on the full facts of the situation.

@ Julie Rambo

I haven't seen the movie yet (comment above)...but was wondering if the reviews I read were accurate about how women (including WOC) were portrayed. A review noted disappointment that all the women were portrayed as "weak." What was your opinion after seeing it? I know Tarantino has had strong female leads before (for example Kill Bill), and I appreciated your initial comment and think your insight would be valuable.