Outrage Watch: Benedict Cumberbatch's latest role slammed: 'The modern equivalent of blackface'
Welcome to Outrage Watch, HitFix's semi-regular rundown of entertainment-related kerfuffles. Not anxious enough already? Get your fix of righteous indignation below, and stay posted for outrage updates throughout the week.
Does Benedict Cumberbatch's "Zoolander 2" character represent the equivalent of "blackface" for the "androgyne/trans/non-binary" community? Sarah Rose seems to think so -- and now the activist has started a petition calling for a boycott of the film, in which the "Sherlock" star plays an androgynous supermodel who, in the film's recently-released trailer, is asked by Owen Wilson's character whether he or she has "a hot dog or a bun?"
"Cumberbatch’s character is clearly portrayed as an over-the-top, cartoonish mockery of androgyne/trans/non-binary individuals," reads the petition. "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."
So far, the petition has received more than 6,000 signatures. You can watch the "Zoolander 2" trailer above and below.
Cumberbatch came under fire earlier this year after referring to black actors as "colored" during an appearance on PBS's "Tavis Smiley"; the actor later apologized, saying he was "devastated to have caused offence."
"Zoolander 2" is slated for release on February 12.