Petition Calls For Boycott Of Zoolander 2 Over Benedict Cumberbatch’s ‘Transphobic’ Character


The Zoolander 2 trailer has been available to the public for less than a week, but it has caused a massive stir online.

Just as its prequel did, the second installment of Zoolander looks as though it will include numerous cameo appearances, and people are not happy with the character adopted by Benedict Cumberbatch.

From the limited preview of the English actor he seems to portray an androgynous model who goes by the name ‘All’.

In the clip Cumberbatch does not answer the question of whether he has a ‘hot dog or a bun’, and the exchange has been labelled a’ transphobic joke’.

A petition online has been signed over 8,000 times by people offended and concerned by the message the film is promoting, and calling for a mass boycott.

An appeal on the site reads:

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, they film endorses harmful and dangerous perceptions of the queer community at large.”


Opinion on social media is also clearly divided on the topic.

The film is set for official release in February of 2016, and it will be interesting to see consensus on the character once the film is seen in full.