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Petition launched to boycott Zoolander 2 over ‘cartoonish, harmful’ trans character

Joe Williams November 22, 2015

Activists claim the character is the transphobic equivalent of ‘blackface’.

‘Zoolander 2’ is facing a backlash from LGBT advocates, who say that Benedict Cumberbatch’s character in the film is “transphobic”.

Cumberbatch plays androgynous supermodel ‘All’ in the upcoming sequel – the trailer for which was released last week.

The clip features the Sherlock star being introduced to Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson’s lead characters, prompting Stiller to ask “Are you a male or female model?”

Cumberbatch’s character then replies “All is all”, to which Wilson states: “I think he’s asking do you have a hotdog or a bun?”

Many from the LGBT community were quick to slam the “awful, unfunny” joke, which pokes fun at the increasing amount of androgynous models hitting catwalks across the world.

However, advocate Sarah Rose has gone one step further – launching a petition to boycott the film, which is set for release in February 2016.

The petition – which is close to hitting its target of 8,000 signatures – claims: “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.”

Supermodel Andreja Pejic came out as trans last year – and her mainstream acceptance has been followed with the growing use of androgyny and trans models across the fashion world.

Pejic made history as the first out trans model to be profiled by Vogue – while a growing number of female models are modelling in menswear collections and vice versa.

The petition adds: “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.”

Find out more about the petition here.

Watch the aforementioned trailer below.

More: Andreja Pejić, Ben Stiller, Benedict Cumbebatch, owen wilson, paramount, transphobia, Zoolander 2

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