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Jennifer Brett

“Zoolander 2” character “the equivalent of blackface,” protest petitioner says

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Thousands have signed a petition blasting the upcoming Ben Stiller/Owen Wilson comedy “Zoolander 2” over an androgynous model played by Benedict Cumberbatch. “This is the modern equivalent of using blackface,” it reads.

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Benedict Cumberbatch's character is "the modern equivalent of using blackface," a protest petition says.

Benedict Cumberbatch in character as “All.” 

The comedy, due out in February, finds Stiller and Owen Wilson’s characters Derek Zoolander and Hansel trying to make a comeback via the reality game show route. They get back into the fashion world to help thwart a culprit trying to “kill all the beautiful people.” Justin Bieber is among the lovely victims.

Cumberbatch plays a gender-neutral model named All. He appears for just a moment in the film’s new trailer but that was long enough to outrage the nearly 7,000 people who signed a petition urging a boycott of the film.

“Cumberbatch’s character is clearly portrayed as an over-the-top, cartoonish mockery of androgyne/trans/non-binary individuals,” the petition reads. “This is the modern equivalent of using blackface to represent a minority.”