Zoolander 2 Facing Backlash Over Benedict Cumberbatch’s Character

Zoolander 2 Facing Backlash Over Benedict Cumberbatch’s Character

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?”

B&T Magazine
Posted by B&T Magazine

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:

The petition currently has just over 8,500 supporters. Zoolander 2 is due for release on February 11, 2016.