Lego Accused Of Racism Over Star Wars Jabba's Palace Set
Some Turkish leaders are offended by a Lego Star Wars set, claiming it resembles a famous mosque.
The Turkish Cultural Community of Austria said in a statement that a Lego set of Jabba's Palace from the Star Wars series is racist because it appears to closely resemble the Hagia Sophia (formerly a mosque) in Istanbul, the Jami al-Kabir mosque in Beirut and a minaret and therefore reinforces negative stereotypes about the Middle East, according to the Austrian Times. The statement threatened legal action against Lego if it does not withdraw the toys.
"The terrorist Jabba the Hutt likes to smoke a hookah and have his victims killed," a statement on their website reads, according to the Telegraph. The statement also claims that the characters look sinister and do evil things, such as keep slaves and commit murder.
(Scroll down for a picture of the Lego set)
Lego denies the charges. "The Lego Star Wars product Jabba's Palace does not reflect any actually existing buildings, people, or the mentioned mosque," Katharina Sasse, a spokesperson for Lego, told the Telegraph.
Jabba the Hutt, for the uninitiated, is one of Star Wars' villains. He kept Han Solo frozen, tried to kill Luke Skywalker and, for a time, kept Princess Leia as his slave (fans will never forget her gold bikini). Luke and his allies ultimately freed Han Solo and Princess Leia and killed Jabba and his minions.
This is not Lego's first brush with racism accusations either. The artist Chris McVeigh claimed in 2010 that almost all non-white Lego faces scowl, according to Wired. The Wired article claims that Lego's toy sets based on Hollywood movies also highlight the racism already apparent in Hollywood casting.
Check out Lego's depiction of Jabba's Palace below:
shouldn't "they" being going after the set designers of Star wars instead of Lego? Lego just took the form from the set. This is silly. Although I can see them taking offense- their beef is with Star Wars originators- not Lego.
It doesn't look the like the Star Wars building at all, though, so I don't see how they could take offense at all.
It's especially ironic, as the Hagia Sophia was not originally a mosque, but an Orthodox Basilica before the muslim Ottomans conquered Constantinople.
I'm not so much a stars wars geek(not that there's anything wrong with that!). My youngest was into it for a while he collected some of the legos stuff. So, as an outsider- there are similarities. But again, their beef should not be with lego.
I can understand, I suppose. I still think it's ridiculous that they're claiming the Hagia Sophia as a purely Turkish monument, when it was originally built by a completely different culture.
January 26 at 9:17 PMI don't think it looks like it...
And have they seen the movies? LOL!
by LindaClementJanuary 26 at 9:18 PM
Actually, the term is 'co-opting culture' but, sure.
Funny, how it's not Lucas being accused of it...
by FromAtoZJanuary 26 at 9:43 PM