A Harlem church is suing a Connecticut toymaker it hired to make action figure versions of its leader because the dolls that were made are not black enough and don’t look like him.
According to court papers filed by the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, the actions figures that Vicale Corporation produced had “pointed noses and faces” and half of them “were light brown” instead of “dark brown.” The church’s leader goes by “Chief High Priest Tazadaqyah,” but his real name is Jermaine Grant.
The church is seeking $120,000 in damages and also wants its $45,000 down payment back. Vicale is planning a countersuit.
The order was placed by a customer named Jason Moody. Toymaker Emil Vicale said that Moody was “obnoxious” and also said that the doll’s design and skin color got approved. “I’m so angry with these people,” said Vicale. “We had just 2 1/2 weeks to put it together. . . . The whole job was very, very peculiar.”
Grant has reportedly claimed that a vengeful black Jesus would enslave all white people. The church, which was once known as Israeli Church of Universal Practical Knowledge, believes that blacks are one of the lost tribes of Israel. It has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, The New York Daily News reported.
The church planned on selling the dolls at a fundraiser for $120 each. Each action figure was supposed to be dressed in an elaborate, sequin-studded outfit.
Vicale has produced other notable actions figures before. The company has made a Jesus action figure, a New Jersey “Tan Mom” Patricia Krentcil and a “Rambama” figure of President Obama posing with a rifle. The Obama doll retails for $34.95.