Ghettopoly to be Destoyed

Justice Department lawyers are seeking judicial permission to destroy about 63,000 copies of the controversial "Ghettopoly" board game, which has been criticized as a racist takeoff on the classic "Monopoly." Earlier this year, Customs and Border Protection agents in Tacoma, Washington seized five separate containers filled with "Ghettopoly" from a ship that had arrived from China. According to the forfeiture request, the board games were seized by federal agents because they violated a trademark held by Hasbro, which produces "Monopoly." The knockoff game, which retails for $39.95, describes "elements of the game" as, "buying stolen properties, pimpin hoes, building crack houses and projects, paying protection fees and getting car jacked." In "Ghettopoly," players land on properties like Chico's Bodega and Smitty's XXX Peep Show, instead of Boardwalk or Marvin Gardens, and the game pieces include a pimp and a machine gun. When "Ghettopoly" debuted last year, black leaders nationwide decried it as racist and criticized game creator David Chang, who has defended his creation, saying it "draws on stereotypes not as a means to degrade, but as a medium to bring together in laughter." Hasbro, of course, did not get the joke and last October filed a federal copyright lawsuit, which is pending in U.S. District Court in Providence, Rhode Island. Chang has about 30 days to file a claim challenging Uncle Sam's bid to destroy the seized "Ghettopoly" stash, which has a street value of nearly $2.5 million.

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