Zoolander 2 screenwriter: Sharp criticism from trans community ‘hurts my feelings’

Justin Theroux Derek de Koff

Zoolander 2 screenwriter and actor Justin Theroux swears he wasn’t trying to cause offense by creating the film’s androgynous character, portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch.

Last month, a trailer for the sequel — which stars Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson and will be out in February — resulted in a petition calling for the film to be boycotted.

The trailer features an androgynous character named All, who is asked “Are you a male or female model?” and whether they “have a hot dog or a bun.”

The petition has already garnered over 20,000 signatures.

Speaking to The Wrap, Theroux says:

“Our target is not, and never was, to disenfranchise anyone. I don’t even know what to make of it, because it hurts my feelings in a way. I take great care in the jokes I write, and the umbrage being taken is out of the context of the scene. I wish people would see the movie first. Satire is a thing that points out the idiots.”

The petition claims that “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.”

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