Zoolander 2’s trailer offered plenty of guffaws, from Ben Stiller trying to stop a throwing star with the power of his Blue Steel to Will Ferrell’s Mugatu and his dramatic prison transformation. But some aren’t laughing as hard at the character played by Benedict Cumberbatch: “All,” a bleach-browed, gender-ambiguous model who’s identified as “the biggest supermodel in the world.” According to a petition drafted by Sarah Rose, “Cumberbatch’s character is clearly portrayed as an over-the-top, cartoonish mockery of androgyne/trans/nonbinary individuals. This is the modern equivalent of using blackface to represent a minority.” The petition had almost 10,000 signatures at press time.
It’s worth noting that a trans supermodel isn’t the novelty the trailer implies. Andreja Pejic, Lea T, and Hari Nef have all fronted major fashion or beauty campaigns recently. It seems Derek Zoolander didn’t get the memo.