Saturday, June 3, 2023

Thy Django Dolls Gets Canceled After Backlash.

January 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Music, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(  The movie “Django Unchained” became, deservedly, one of the most controversial and profitable films of 2012.  Millions of people showed up to see the b****y tale of revenge with serious political implications in a racially-divided nation.  When the film was released, there were some, like Spike Lee, who felt that the movie was disrespectful to his ancestors.  There were others, like Min. Louis Farrakhan who felt that the film could spark a race war.

I saw the film and thought it was pretty good.  Each person’s response to Django is clearly a personal decision, but I honestly see nothing wrong with black people being angry about slavery.  All this stuff about turning the other cheek and forgiving your enemies doesn’t sit well with my soul:  If you hit me or my children, you will probably be knocked out in the very near future.

But in an act that amounted to nothing less than pouring Crisco on a grease fire, the Weinstein Company took their profiteering a bit too far for comfort.  A series of odd action figures was released in connection with the film, sparking quite a bit of outrage.  Those who didn’t like the film were saying, “I told you they were racist,” and those who enjoyed the film (myself included), shuddered at the thought of a bunch of white guys selling slave dolls to make ends meet.

Mind you, only half the dolls were black, showing that capitalist exploitation knows no racial boundaries.  But besides being a product that can’t possibly be profitable (who in the &^%% would buy a Django action figure?), they weredjango-toys clearly in poor taste.  Slavery is a sensitive subject as it is, and the action figures were just flat out tacky.

Weinstein and Company, to their credit, took the dolls off the shelves and discontinued production.  They also apologized to those they might have offended.  You can’t ask for much more than that, and I am personally satisfied with their response.  If we could get the producers of “Basketball Wives” and Trinidad James’ latest album to do the same, then the world would be a far better place.

The Django controversy never made much sense to me for two reasons. First, I’m not sure why people were analyzing the film for historical accuracy, studying all of the subtleties of the film as if it were a PBS special.  If Quentin Tarantino has become your history teacher, then you’re in serious trouble.  The man knows how to give you three things:  Good cinematography, a compelling/action packed story and a lot of b****y dead people.  That’s about it.

Secondly, I’m not sure why the subject of slavery should be off-limits for every Hollywood production.  Slavery is a very large part and important of America’s history, so it’s only natural that it’s going to appear on camera at some point.  Mind you, slavery portrayals should be respectful, but it makes no sense to produce a film focusing on that time period and to pretend that slavery didn’t exist.  Also, for those who were offended by the violence, I doubt that you are nearly as offended as those who experienced the violence first hand.  So, maybe we need to see some of what our ancestors endured so that we might be able to better appreciate their sacrifices.

As far as the dolls are concerned, I say good riddance.  But when the film comes out on DVD, I think I might buy a copy.  America needed to see “Django Unchained,” for our nation is still seeking closure from its dark and difficult past.

Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins 

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  For more information, please visit

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