Action figures for 'Django Unchained' draw protest

Director of the advocacy group Project Islamic Hope called "Django Unchained" action figures "a slap in the face of our ancestors."

NEW YORK — Slavery-era action figures tied to Quentin Tarantino's film "Django Unchained" are raising questions about whether they're appropriate.

A line of figures of the movie's main characters is on sale online, manufactured by toymaker NECA in partnership with The Weinstein Co.

Najee Ali, director of the advocacy group Project Islamic Hope, is planning a news conference Tuesday with other Los Angeles black community leaders calling for the removal of the toys from the market.

Ali called the action figures "a slap in the face of our ancestors."

"We were outraged," said Ali, upon learning of the figures. "We feel that it trivializes the horrors of slavery and what African Americans experienced."

Django action figures: Community activist Najee Ali holds an action figure depicting Calvin Candie, Leonardo DiCaprio's character from the Quentin Tarantino film "Django Unchained", during a news conference Tuesday Jan. 8. IMAGEAP Photo: Nick Ut

The action figures are collectibles recommended for people older than 17. Tarantino has had such figures made for all of his films, including his last, "Inglourious Basterds." That film, set in Nazi Germany, also reveled in a historical revenge fantasy.

The Weinstein Co. and NECA didn't immediately comment Tuesday.

Ali made clear his objections were not with the film "Django Unchained," which he said he liked and had seen twice.

Though controversial in its unusual melding of historical atrocity and movie mayhem, "Django Unchained" has proven a hit at the box office, where it has earned $106.3 million since opening Christmas. It's also been nominated for five Golden Globes.

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