Justin Theroux never gets attention for the right things, bless him. Yeah, he's married to Jennifer Aniston, but he's also the star of the criminally under-appreciated HBO show "The Leftovers," and the screenwriter of several great movies, including "Tropic Thunder," "Iron Man 2," and "Rock of Ages." He also wrote the script for "Zoolander 2," which is out in February. Unfortunately, that sequel is also the target of a petition protesting Benedict Cumberbatch's character, based on how he appears and acts in the trailer.
Here's a portion of the petition, which currently has more than 21,000 signatures:
"In the 'Zoolander 2' trailer, an androgynous character played by Benedict Cumberbatch is asked by Zoolander and Hansel if he is a 'male or female model', and if they 'have a hot dog or a bun'. Additionally, 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."
So now, while trying to discuss "The Leftovers" finale, Justin Theroux is being asked about the petition to boycott a movie he wrote. "I don't even know what to make of it, because it hurts my feelings in a way," Justin told TheWrap. "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."
That "R" word is "retard," which Robert Downey Jr.'s character (who was in blackface, by the way) used in the 2008 comedy. As Justin continued to TheWrap, "The goal was not to mock or be 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." He emphasized that their target isn't and never was "to disenfranchise anyone."
This petition probably won't affect "Zoolander 2" at the box office, but it's possible it will influence how androgynous characters are treated in the future. Or it may just inspire eyerolls from the anti-PC crowd.
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