Just weeks ago, action figures from the popular Quentin Tarantino film “Django Unchained” were prominently displayed on the website of the toymaker National Entertainment Collectibles Association. Now, they’ve seemingly disappeared.
That’s because the 10-doll set has been discontinued after complaints that the toys were offensive, according to the Associated Press.
The 8-inch figurines representing the film’s main characters were made available for purchase online after the movie’s Christmas Day release. The toys were produced by NECA in collaboration with the Weinstein Co., the studio behind Tarantino’s film.
“We have tremendous respect for the audience and it was never our intent to offend anyone," The Weinstein Co. said in a statement to the AP.
“Django Unchained” is Tarantino’s homage to the spaghetti western, and tells the story of an ex-slave-turned-bounty hunter who walks a bloody path of revenge in a quest to rescue his enslaved wife.
Civil rights groups and some members of the public questioned the sensitivity of the dolls, saying it trivialized slavery.
“Selling this doll is highly offensive to our ancestors and the African American community,” said Rev. K.W. Tulloss of the National Action Network. He was joined in protest by Najee Ali, of Project Islamic Hope, who called the dolls “a slap in the face of our ancestors.”
Despite the controversy, “Django” has received both critical and public acclaim. The film was recently nominated for four NAACP Image Awards and five Academy Awards, including best picture. It is also Tarantino’s highest-grossing movie to date, earning over $140 million at the box office.