Zoolander 2’s Trans Jokes Are As Lazy and Offensive As You Feared
Concerns over the trailer for ‘Zoolander 2,’ which mocked an androgynous model played by Benedict Cumberbatch, were founded. The film’s trans jokes do offend—even worse, they’re dumb.
TW for transphobia, CW for spoilers
“In addition to being largely unfunny and uninspired, as my colleague Jen Yamato wrote in her review, the film is also horribly offensive.
Concerns over Cumberbatch’s character, the industry’s hottest new model named “All,”first emerged when the film’s trailer was released, teasing jokes about the character as one of the film’s comedic highlights.
Upon meeting All, Ben Stiller’s Derek Zoolander and Owen Wilson’s Hansel—who have spent over a decade away from the fashion world and apparently missed the evolution of trans and androgyne acceptance through various half-baked, high-concept plot conceits—are mystified.
“Are you, like, a male model or a female model?” Zoolander asks. “All is all,” All replies.
Hansel buts in: “I think what he’s asking is whether you’ve got a hot dog or a bun.”
It devolves from there. “Do you have a wiener or a vaginer?” A reference is made to All’s most recent sociopolitical act, marrying “hermself.”
No malice is expressed towards All, but All’s existence is the butt of jokes. Lazy jokes. Dated jokes. Really, frigging stupid jokes.
When you boil it down, all Zoolander 2 attempted to say was that the very act of being gender ambiguous - whether All was trans or androgynous or what have you - is funny. That curiosity over a trans person’s sexual organs is hilarious.“
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STILLER AND WILSON, SERIOUSLY WTF?!?!
I know people will say, it’s “comedy,” but trans people are getting killed every week of every year. THEIR DEATHS ARE FUELED BY THIS RIDICULE AND CONTEMPT, AND IT ISN’T F*CKING FUNNY.