Justin Theroux defends Benedict Cumberbatch's Zoolander character

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 8 December 2015
Justin Theroux

Justin Theroux

Hollywood scriptwriter Justin Theroux has defended Benedict Cumberbatch's character in the new 'Zoolander' movie

Justin Theroux has defended Benedict Cumberbatch's character in 'Zoolander 2'.

In a recently released trailer of the much-anticipated comedy movie, the British actor is seen in the role of an androgynous character, prompting some moviegoers to threaten to boycott the film amid claims the portrayal is offensive.

Reflecting on the row, Justin said: "I don't even know what to make of it, because it hurts my feelings in a way.

"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."

What's more, Justin drew a parallel between the current situation and that surrounding 'Tropic Thunder' in 2008, when Robert Downey Jr was criticised for using the word "retard".

Justin recalled: "Satire is a thing that points out the idiots, and we went through it on 'Tropic Thunder' with the 'R' word."

He said too, that there was never any intention to offend anyone and instead argued people are "looking for places to inject their voice".

He told 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.

"With social media and all the rest of it, people's issues need to be heard ... at the end of the day people are looking for bandwidth. People are looking for places to inject their voice. But our target is not, and never was, to disenfranchise anyone."

Zoolander 2

  • 2 stars
  • 2016
  • US
  • 1h 42min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Justin Theroux
  • Written by: Justin Theroux
  • Cast: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Penélope Cruz, Kristen Wiig, Fred Armisen
  • UK release: 12 February 2016

Derek Zoolander (Stiller) is living in the New Jersey woods as a 'hermit crab' after the collapse of his centre for 'kids who can't read good' and the death of his wife, but then he and former rival Hansel (Wilson) are drawn into a plot. Chaotic, scattershot, largely laugh-free sequel to the fondly-remembered 2001 original.

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