Django Unchained Dolls Discontinued, Jamie Foxx Responds to Spike Lee

Criticism of hit film doesn’t affect box office but does impact marketing.

Posted: 01/22/2013 10:45 AM EST
Jamie Foxx, Spike Lee

The film Django Unchained continues to make news. This time a marketing ploy for the hit movie is discontinued and the film’s star criticizes Spike Lee.

A month after Lee slammed Django — without seeing the film — actor Jamie Foxx offered his response. On Twitter, Lee commented that, “American slavery was not a Sergio Leone spaghetti western. It was a holocaust.” And in an interview, the director said he considered the slaved-themed flick “disrespectful.”

Foxx gave his retort last week via an interview in The Guardian . "The question for me is: where's Spike Lee coming from?" he said. "He didn't like Whoopi Goldberg, he doesn't like Tyler Perry, he doesn't like anybody, I think he's sort of run his course. I mean, I respect Spike, he's a fantastic director. But he gets a little shady when he's taking shots at his colleagues without looking at the work. To me, that's irresponsible."

The merchandise surrounding Quentin Tarantino’s box office hit got an equally harsh response. A groundswell of fury against the selling of Django Unchained action figures has made marketers seriously rethink the idea of packaging slavery. Following the outrage expressed by civil rights groups like Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and Project Islamic Hope, the Weinstein Co. has removed the dolls from shelves and discontinued selling the items.

"In light of the reaction to the Django Unchained action figures,” said the Weinstein Co. in a statement, “we are removing them from distribution. We have tremendous respect for the audience and it was never our intent to offend anyone."

"They were meant to be collectibles for people 17 years and older,” they explained, “which is the audience for the film." Earning close to $130 million, the film is the highest-grossing film of Tarantino’s career.

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(Photos from left: Michael Kovac/Getty Images, Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

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