Some Turkish leaders are offended by a Lego Star Wars set, claiming it resembles a famous mosque.
The Turkish Cultural Community of Austriasaid 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 statementalso 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.
I'm sure George Lucas was thinking of this back in 1983 when the movie came out. Some people are to sensitive. It was a fictional movie 30 yrs ago.