"Zoolander 2" doesn't hit theaters until February, but thousands of people are already calling for a boycott of the film.
Last month, a petition launched on Care2 asking for people to boycott the comedy starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson because of its "offensive representation of non-binary individuals." Benedict Cumberbatch appears in the movie as an androgynous model who is questioned by Stiller and Wilson.
The petition reads:
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.
"By hiring a cis actor to play a non-binary individual in a clearly negative way, the film endorses harmful and dangerous perceptions of the queer community at large," the petition, which has been signed by more than 20,000 people, states.
Justin Theroux, who co-wrote the film with Stiller, Nicholas Stoller and John Hamburg, defended the flick in a recent interview with The Wrap.
“I don’t even know what to make of it, because it hurts my feelings in a way," he said. "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."
"Zoolander 2" hits theaters Feb. 12.
The Huffington Post has reached out to the creator of the petition for comment.
Also on HuffPost: