Justin Theroux, the co-writer of “Zoolander 2,” has responded to the criticism directed at the “cartoonish” non-binary character All, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, in the recently released "Zoolander 2" trailer. He said that the scene in the trailer is being read out of the context.

In the "Zoolander 2" trailer, Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) are seen asking Cumberbatch’s character if he is a "male or female model," and if they [non-binary individuals] "have a hot dog or a bun.”

“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, and we went through it on ‘Tropic Thunder’ with the ‘R’ word,” he told the Wrap.

His [ Theroux] use of the word “retard” in “Tropic Thunder” had invited protests at the time. He said that he was not mocking or being cruel to the mentally challenged, but "exalt in the stupidity of people who use that word. I’m all for letting words be ugly when the target is correct."

"Zoolander 2" co-writer said that their target was never to "disenfranchise anyone," adding that he feels "everyone’s voice needs to be heard and let people inject their voice."

After the film's trailer released, LGBT activist Sarah Rose created an online petition targetting Stiller, Cumberbatch and Paramount Pictures. Rose wrote that Cumberbatch's character is "clearly portrayed as an over-the-top, cartoonish mockery of androgyne/trans/non-binary individuals. This is a modern equivalent of using blackface to represent a minority." The petition has already got close to 21,000 signatures.

“Zoolander 2” opens on Feb. 12 .

Watch the "Zoolander 2 "trailer:

[Source: Youtube/Paramount Pictures International]

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