Pin It
zoolander-2-benedict-cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch as ‘All’ in Zoolander 2via YouTube

Zoolander 2 is facing boycott for ‘harmful’ trans character

A new petition is blasting the film for transphobia, calling it is as offensive as modern day ‘blackface’

After releasing its first full-length trailer last week, Zoolander 2 has been bearing the brunt of some serious online criticism. Featuring a controversial turn by Benedict Cumberbatch as androgynous supermodel ‘All’, the film is being labelled by some LGBT advocates as “transphobic” – and, according to a new petition, could now be facing a boycott.

The trailer, which has already attracted more than 11 million views, features Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) asking Cumberbatch’s trans supermodel, “Are you a male or female model?” To which he replies “All is all.” Hansel then jokes, “I think he's asking, do you have a hotdog or a bun?”

Although it's only a short snippet of dialogue from the film, many have already been quick to slam the writers for their lack of sensitivity. One campaigner has even decided to start up a petition to boycott the film completely – with nearly 9,000 people signing in solidarity.

“Cumberbatch’s character is clearly portrayed as an over-the-top, cartoonish mockery of androgyne/trans/non-binary individuals,” writes Sarah Rose, the petititon’s founder. “This is the modern equivalent of using blackface to represent a minority.”

“By hiring a cis actor to play a non-binary individual in a clearly negative way, the film endorses harmful and dangerous perceptions of the queer community at large,” she adds. “Tell Paramount Pictures, Ben Stiller and Benedict Cumberbatch that mocking transgender/androgyne/gender-fluid individuals is not OK.”

The film is not set for release until February 2016, but you can watch the clip in question below.