“The controversial ‘Django Unchained’ action figures have officially been DISCONTINUED … after several African American groups called for a boycott of the dolls … TMZ has learned,” the TMZ website reported Friday.
Later in the day, the Weinstein Co., the film’s producer, said in a statement, “We have tremendous respect for the audience and it was never our intent to offend anyone,” Christy Lemire reported for the Associated Press. Toy maker NECA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“. . . The studio said Friday that such collectibles have been created for all of director Quentin Tarantino’s films, including “‘Inglourious Basterds,’ and that they were meant for people 17 and older, the audience for the film,” Lemire wrote.
The earlier TMZ dispatch said, “Sources connected to the toy production tell us … shortly after advocacy groups like Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and Project Islamic Hope spoke out against the figurines … the Weinstein Company (which produced the film) reached out to the toy company and told them to put the kibosh on the toy line ASAP.
“We’re told the toy company agreed, insisting they never intended to offend anyone … and halted production immediately.
“Sources tell us … the toymakers only released somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 dolls before shutting down production.”
As reported in this space on Jan. 7, among journalists, the most common reaction to the news of the action figures was a version of “oh, no, they didn’t!“
“Civil rights groups argued that the toys trivialized the horrors of slavery,” the AP story said.