The much-anticipated trailer for the sequel to ‘Zoolander’ dropped last week, and in one clip Zoolander and Hansel ask an androgynous character played by Benedict Cumberbatch whether he’s a “male or female model”, and if they “have a hot dog or a bun”.
Featured Image VIA
Standard social media outrage:
A petition calling for people to boycott the movie adds:
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, the film endorses harmful and dangerous perceptions of the queer community at large.
The petition currently has 11,000+ signatures, but somehow I feel this will only serve to drum up more business for Zoolander in the long run.
Also, the petition maker’s argument that the producers should have asked a real life transgender model to play that character instead of Benedict Cumberbatch is just plain stupid. The whole point of being an actor is to play a character who you aren’t in real life. That’s like saying they should have used real aliens in ‘Men In Black’, or they should have literally taken Matt Damon to Mars in ‘The Martian’.
Maybe the petition makers should stick to documentaries — here’s a few of our own suggestions for them.