We received the piece below:
A Care2 petition is calling for a boycott of Zoolander 2 after the film’s trailer was released today. LGBTQ activists are taking issue with the film’s portrayal of a genderqueer model played by Benedict Cumberbatch; the Care2 petition has gathered over 300 signatures.
In the trailer, Ben Stiller’s character Zoolander asks an androgynous character played by Benedict Cumberbatch, “Are you like, a male model or a female model?” Owen Wilson’s character then asks the model, “Do you have a hot dog or a bun?”
Care2 petition author Sarah Rose says this portrayal of genderqueer individuals is what fuels “harmful and dangerous perceptions of the queer community at large.”
“Cumberbatch’s character is clearly portrayed as an over-the-top, cartoonish mockery of androgyne/trans/non-binary individuals,” writes Sarah Rose, who is also Care2’s social media assistant. “This is the modern equivalent of using blackface to represent a minority.”
She says transgender individuals field offensive questions about their genitalia often, and Zoolander 2’s dialogueonly fuels the idea that it’s okay to ask non-binary individuals invasive questions about their bodies.
“As a genderqueer person, I’m constantly faced with negative perceptions of my identity in culture,” Sarah Rose says. “Like any rational person, I think there’s a place for discourse and humor in society, but the last thing the transgender community needs at this moment is another harmful, cartoonish portrayal of our lives.”
Last year, Katie Couric took heat when she asked model Carmen Carrera and actress Laverne Cox about their genitalia on Katie, her ABC daytime talk show.
“Your private parts are different now, aren’t they?” Couric asked Carrera at the time.
“I don’t want to talk about it; it’s really personal,” Carrera said, visibly uncomfortable. “I’d rather talk about my modeling…There’s more to trans people than just [genitalia].”
Cox also railed against the question, telling Couric “the preoccupation with transition and surgery objectifies trans people and then we don’t get to really deal with the lived experiences, the reality of trans people’s lives.”
Everyone has a voice nowadays…