The trailer for Zoolander 2 only arrived last week, but the film is already facing backlash over the portrayal of a gender fluid character. Benedict Cumberbatch’s character All is billed as “the biggest supermodel in the world” and is asked if he “has a hot dog or a bun?”
If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the Zoolander 2 trailer:
The petition on Care2 Petitions reads:
“In the Zoolander 2 trailer, an androgynous character played by Benedict Cumberbatch is asked by Zoolander and Hansel if he is a ‘male or female model’, and if they ‘have a hot dog or a bun’. Additionally, Cumberbatch’s character is clearly portrayed as an over-the-top, cartoonish mockery of androgyne/trans/non-binary individuals. This is the modern equivalent of using blackface to represent a minority.
“If the producers and screenwriters of Zoolander wanted to provide social commentary on the presence of trans/androgyne individuals in the fashion industry, they could have approached models like Andreja Pejic to be in the film. By hiring a cis actor to play a non-binary individual in a clearly negative way, they film endorses harmful and dangerous perceptions of the queer community at large.
“Tell Paramount Pictures, Ben Stiller, and Benedict Cumberbatch that mocking transgender/androgyne/gender fluid individuals is not okay – sign this petition to pledge to boycott the film!”
Angry people took to Twitter to attack the transphobic joke:
TFW you excitedly pull up the “Zoolander 2” trailer only to find a transphobic joke 20 seconds into it… pic.twitter.com/vADoWYWSjP
— Julie Rei Goldstein (@JulieRei) November 18, 2015
like really – cumberbatch’s role in zoolander 2 looks SUPER transphobic??? i’m really bummed out now
— a literal bunny (@lyingkitten) November 18, 2015
Warning: Transphobia in The Zoolander 2 trailer. Basically Benedict Cumberbatch’s character is a transphobic joke. pic.twitter.com/pCXst8PjX7
— Fangirl Jeanne (@fangirlJeanne) November 18, 2015
Nice to see zoolander 2 will throw some transphobic jokes, very cool, thanks hollywood
— smug Hazama (@valkyrienoboken) November 18, 2015
The petition currently has just over 8,500 supporters. Zoolander 2 is due for release on February 11, 2016.