Ghettopoly, the board game created by an Asian-American to mock African-Americans, is facing a lawsuit filed by established game maker Hasbro. Because of its association with the venerable Monopoly, Hasbro asserts its reputation is being injured by a similarly named game that celebrates bigotry. Salon fills us in.
The company that makes the Monopoly board game has sued the man who created "Ghettopoly" — a knockoff featuring "playas" who build crack houses on Cheap Trick Avenue instead of hotels on Boardwalk.
The lawsuit by Hasbro Inc. seeks unspecified damages from David Chang, alleging he violated Hasbro's trademarks and copyrights and created "irreparable injury" to Hasbro's reputation. It also wants the court to order Chang to stop producing and selling Ghettopoly.
"While the genuine Monopoly game has become a wholesome and respected American icon ... the Ghettopoly knockoff has generated a firestorm of controversy for its highly offensive, racist content," said the filing Tuesday in Providence federal court.
Ghettopoly mimics Monopoly, except game pieces include a gun and marijuana leaf. In place of the "Mr. Monopoly" logo of a man with his arms outstretched, Ghettopoly uses a caricature of a black man holding a submachine gun and bottle of malt liquor.
The game drew outrage from minority leaders this month after it began selling at Urban Outfitters stores. The retail chain stopped its sales of the game, and Yahoo! and eBay notified Chang they would halt online sales.
David Chang says he does not see anything insulting about the game, which includes 'careers' such as armed robber and pimp. His website describes what Chang apparently believes are the main activities of black people.
Buying stolen properties, pimpin hoes, building crack houses and projects, paying protection fees and getting car jacked are some of the elements of the game. Not dope enough? ... If you don't have the money that you owe to the loan shark you might just land yourself in da Emergency Room.
Interestingly, there is no evidence Chang has ever been exposed to black American culture beyond the stereotypes he is promoting.
Chang, who lives in western Pennsylvania, has no firsthand knowledge of the ghetto. He and his family moved to the United States from Taiwan when he was 8. He went to a private high school and graduated from the University of Rochester in New York state with degrees in economics and psychology.
Perhaps that is why Chang depicts Martin Luther King, Jr., groping his genitals and saying "I've got an itch."