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Will Ferrell defends Zoolander 2 ‘transphobia’ controversy

Joe Williams December 21, 2015

The comedian has spoken out in defence of Benedict Cumberbatch after his role in Zoolander 2 sparked outrage.

A trailer for the upcoming sequel Zoolander 2 sparked outrage among LGBT activists last month due a clip featuring Benedict Cumberbatch playing an androgynous model.

His portrayal angered transgender activists, who called it a “cartoonish mockery of androgyne/trans/non-binary individuals”.

However, co-star Will Ferrell has spoken out in defence of the role – insisting that people should never take comedy too seriously.

“We are making fun of a bunch of different things,” he BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat.

“In terms of reading the script, there’s that feeling, that world in which the movie is established, is so heightened and over the top.

“I guess there’s some controversy. To me, I don’t feel like it was over egregious.”

However, many from the LGBT community disagree with him – with activists slamming the “awful, unfunny” joke, accusing writers of the film of ridiculing the increasing amount of androgynous supermodels.

A petition to boycott the film was launched in an attempt to dissuade people from going to see it.

The petition – which is close to hitting its target of 25,000 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.”

Earlier this year, Ferrell was forced to defend another film he was starring in – after it was branded homophobic.

‘Get Hard’ was savaged by critics due to its portrayal of “gay-panic humour” – with its gags branded offensive, cheap and ugly by reviewers.

More: Ben Stiller, benedict cumberbatch, owen wilson, transphobia, US, Will Ferrell, Zoolander 2

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