I wish I was kidding about this, but I’m not. I just peeped this over at The Daily Beast:
Last fall, the National Entertainment Collectibles Association, Inc. (NECA), in tandem with the Weinstein Company, announced a full line of consumer products based on characters from the movie. First up are pose-able eight-inch action figures with tailored clothing, weaponry, and accessories in the likeness of characters played by Foxx, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Leonardo DiCaprio, James Remar and Christoph Waltz. The dolls are currently on sale via Amazon.com.
Le sigh…I guess I can’t be too surprised that some company would try to market off the movie’s success. Aren’t they just the most adorable little dolls? I wonder if they are going to add the accessories needed to fully reflect the Antebellum South lifestyle–miniature slave quarters, mini big houses, acres of land slaves would have to work in, trees used to tie slaves up so they can receive beatings, whips used on slaves, etc.
The entire Django Unchained experience can’t be complete if there aren’t the props needed for children and teens to accurately portray that awful Era of the American Experience! What about the mistresses? Will they also roll out dolls of delicate white women who resented black female slaves, who were the subject of her husband’s sadistic violent sexual appetite? Will there be mammies and House Negroes?
Come on, NECA. If you’re going to make a profit, why not just go all out and just create an entire American Slavery line of toys? Hell, you can even market them to local school districts as a new, exciting way to teach slavery to school children!
So, along with yet another white Hollywood filmmaker using his privilege, status and money to revamp the story of slavery to cater to the American movie going public, we have yet another company seeking to market and profit off the historic tragedy of what slavery was and what its mission was. Surprise, surprise.
The story of slavery, including the lives of those who had to endure the institution’s brutal violence and subjugation, has once again been reduced to something that can only be dissected by means of pop culture. Another sad example of how whiteness relentlessly commodifies and packages the experiences and lives of people of color as something they feel entitled to profit from.