Along with the release of Tarantino's Django Unchained, the marketing geniuses put their busy little heads together and came up with all sorts of fun tie-ins. One of the brilliant ideas the brain trust dreamt up was collectible dolls of the characters. Because who doesn't want pose-able, 8" action figures of slaves and the people who kidnapped, raped, murdered, and lynched them? Except probably most people.
"Selling slaves as action figures is a slap in the face of our ancestors. 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," stated Najee Ali, Director of Project Islamic Hope.
A Change.org petition asking that the action figures be removed from the maket includes this reminder:
Simply, these companies and entities are capitalizing off of the bloodshed and sufferings of African slaves. In return, these companies are giving nothing back the sufferings of the decendents of African slaves. Ask yourself, why aren't they offering 100% of the profits to go back to the families who are descendants of the African slaves brought here. Or why not give the profits to the African American communities across America who suffer from lack of resources and opportunity that disenfranchises our communities? What are these companies giving back to you, your family and community to strengthen positive growth and opportunity?
My question is: Who is the audience for these dolls? It's obviously not children, as the press release states they're for 15-and-up, and also, I'm pretty sure kids wouldn't get too stoked to play with Boring Ol' Plastic Doll in Historical Garb That Kinda Looks Like Some Celebrity They Don't Know.
If the action figures are just for people to keep in the boxes and put on display for (terrified? bewildered? creeped-out?) guests, I'm not sure if that's more or less weird than if they were designed for kids. Who actually collects this shit?
I'm sorry Tarantino super fans and the five Klan members with enough money to buy these bizarre dolls, they're just not worth the anguish they're causing.