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LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

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LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

Postby Staff » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:22 am

According to an article in The Daily Mail, LEGO is taking some heat from the Austrian Turkish Community for the perceived similarities between 9516 Jabba's Palace and the Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul.  While arguments can be made that George Lucas has been guilty of incorporating some stereotypes into his films, it should be noted that filming in Tunisia as a stand-in for Tatooine may just have had some influence on some of the creative choices made for the fictitious palace.

Personally, I don't think of Jabba as a terrorist because he smoked a hookah...I just think he's a chill cat.  Dr. Melissa Günes, General Secretary of the Turkish Cultural Community, must have a  gold medal in the logic long jump.  LEGO's Katharina Sasse responded appropriately by pointing out that "...when designing the product only the fictional content of the Star Wars saga were referred to."

The entire Turkish population of Austria weighs in at around 132,000 according to the CIA World Factbook, so worst case scenario, LEGO has enraged a population roughly the size of Topeka.

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Re: LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

Postby that guy » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:22 pm

and here I thought only the U.S. had government employees with too much free time.....
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Re: LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

Postby ThatGuyWithTheBricks » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:00 pm

That's dumb. You can make more concrete examples of racism in Lego, like how they are so few races besides white in flesh. Though that's more of a problem with media homogeny.
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Re: LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

Postby DarthBuilder » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:02 pm

I dont want to live on this planet anymore...

I had followed this story a little elsewhere and the level of ignorance is mind boggling here is TLG response.

"The LEGO Group's reaction to criticism of LEGO Star Wars product: “Jabba´s Palace”

The Austrian Turkish Cultural Community has criticized a LEGO Star Wars product for looking similar to a mosque in Istanbul. The product is however not based on any real building but on a fictional building from a scene in the movie Star Wars Episode VI.

All LEGO Star WarsTM products are based on the movies of the Star WarsTM saga created by Lucasfilm. Jabba's Palace appears in Star WarsTM Episode VI and appears in a famous scene on the planet Tatooine. The building is the palace of Jabba - a fictional movie character.

The picture shown above depicts the building from the movie scene. The LEGO designers try to reproduce all buildings, space ships and characters from the movies as close as possible when creating a new LEGO Star WarsTM product.

This is done to allow both young and old Star WarsTM fans to act out the scenes from the movies at home. The LEGO Star WarsTM product Jabba´s palace does not reflect any non-fictional buildings, people, or the mentioned mosque.

The LEGO minifigures shown on the box and found inside the box (Jabba, Salacious Crumb, Bib Fortuna, Gamorreanic Guard, Oola, Han Solo, Princess Leia disguised as Boushh, Chewbacca and B'omarr Monk) are all modeled after fictional characters from the movie.

The LEGO Group regrets that the product has caused the members of the Turkish cultural community to interprete it wrongly, but point out that the design of the product only refers to the fictional content of the Star WarsTM saga.

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Re: LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

Postby Darth Mitz » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:41 pm

some...(insert what you like here) always playing some sort of race card...these people have got nothing better to do with their time. over the years we've had everything from Nike trainers to god knows what, but, Lego? really?!?

these people need a life.
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Re: LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

Postby Mister Ed » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:46 pm

I'll just pile on and say, that's one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard of being protested seriously. To get any sillier you have to look for the people that are well aware that their protests are silly, and are doing it for that reason.

It is especially ludicrous because it is LEGO they are targeting, when pretty much anybody with a brain can figure out that a LEGO set like this is BASED ON SOMETHING ELSE. Have they been sending such sternly worded missives to Lucasfilm for the past several years, since RotJ came out?
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Re: LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

Postby onions » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:50 pm

in other news, my daughter leia is outraged she can't have a pet stegosaurus.

talk about late to the party.
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Re: LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

Postby ggpike » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:52 pm

In other news, after a 30 year delay, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in Turkish is finally coming to theaters everywhere in Austria this Summer! <-- Only explanation I could think of :lol:
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Re: LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

Postby GIR3691 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:04 pm

They're about 30 years late to be offended by Jabba's Palace.
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Re: LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

Postby Walter Boy » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:19 pm

Do they not know what Star Wars is in Turkey? Is it a lot less popular there or something? :S
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Re: LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

Postby Avenged110 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:37 pm

Hahahahaha aha aha ha...that actually wasn't that amusing. People need to calm down with their issues.
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Re: LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

Postby UOldPirate » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:52 pm

Wow, winter went by quick! Can't believe it's April 1st already!
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Re: LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

Postby shoggoth666 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:54 pm

If I had to pick two adjectives to describe this set they would without a doubt be offensive and racist. Heinous and blasphemous would be runners up, which is precisely why I paid full retail for mine. Love it.
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Re: LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

Postby sparkart » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:13 pm

Have you SEEN Turkish Cinema?

They probably think the real Star Wars movies are documentaries.
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Re: LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

Postby darth_fett » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:27 pm

This.^ This I did not forsee. So Jabba is an Oriental cos he has slanty eyes & smokes a hookah? So what does that make the pasty Bib Fortuna? Is the monkey lizard discrimination against short people? The security guards are pigs? Does chewbacca make fun of tall hirsute men w/ speech impediments? Where does it end?
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Re: LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

Postby SuperDave » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:32 am

Wait, wait. The Hagia Sofia basilica/mosque/museum? Why aren't Orthodox Christians upset? Or Turkish Turks (rather than the Austrian Turkish community)? Or buildings everywhere with combinations of domes and spires?

Go read the Daily Mail article. Particularly offensive points of the set, according to the graphic from the groups website, are (according to my definitely inaccurate German) "Machine guns in the minaret!"
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Re: LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

Postby Draykov » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:00 am

Hagia Sophia has been a museum since the mid '30s, so I'm thinking somebody just needed something to get upset about. The article also referenced similarities between Jabba's palace and a mosque in Beirut. Couldn't find pictures based on the name they gave, so someone might not have their facts straight on either then name or the location. I tried finding the site for the Turkish Cultural Community of Austria, but the first million or so hits on Google just reference this story about Jabba's palace.

There's all kinds of things wrong with this if you're going to implement logic...unless it's all just a big publicity stunt on the part of the Turkish Cultural Community of Austria.
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Re: LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

Postby sparkart » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:10 am

It's a ploy on the part of LEGO to sell more Jabba sets. They've had to resort to selling Jabba's palace at a discount on Amazon. Nothing gets a public to buy more of something than threatening to take it away (tried to buy a gun or ammo lately in the US?).

So, start a rumor that the set will be discountinued prematurely (to kowtow to the public that doesn't even buy this product ?!), and LEGO can sell even more sets!

But seriously, how can this be bad publicity for LEGO?

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Re: LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

Postby thepatient » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:12 pm

I couldn't help notice that the Rancor Keeper in the Rancor Pit doesn't have a shirt on. Clearly, LEGO thinks that all white people go around topless. I'm offended.

Now can I get a discount on that set too?

That is stretched about as far as these morons in Austria are taking it.
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Re: LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

Postby Prongstar » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:23 pm

In related news, mosques everywhere have posted signs barring entry to Hutts, Twi-lek, and practicing Jedi.
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