Zoolander 2 accused of Transphobia

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8,000 people have signed a petition calling for the boycott of Zoolander over its ‘mockery of androgyne/trans/non-binary individuals’

 

Like the original, this film is directed by Ben Stiller and stars Owen Wilson as Hansel McDonald.

This time around Will Ferrell, Penélope Cruz, Kristen Wiig, Benedict Cumberbatch and Justin Bieber also star. The film tells the story of Stiller and Wilson’s return from retirement into a much-changed fashion world after being asked to find new, original models.

In the film, Benedict Cumberbatch plays an androgynous model named “All”. His character satirises the rise in popularity of transgender models such as Andreja Pejić and his depiction has caused LGBT activists to call for a boycott of the new film on grounds of transphobia.

The petition accuses the film-makers of presenting an “over-the-top, cartoonish mockery of androgyne/trans/non-binary individuals”. In the trailer, 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.’

“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 Pejić 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 states.

Some people on Twitter also suggested Cumberbatch’s character could be considered transphobic.

The film will be in cinemas on 12 February 2015.

© 2015 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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