Published On: Thu, Apr 28th, 2016

California college cancels ‘Zoolander 2’ for portraying LBGTQ community and ‘marginalized identities’

Students at a private college in Southern California, Claremont McKenna College, recently canceled plans to screen Zoolander 2 on campus, saying in an email to The College Fix that they were concerned over the way in which the movie portrayed those in the LGBTQ community, as well as how it mocked “marginalized identities.”

LGBTQ activists called for a boycott over the “harmful” portrayal of a transgender character in the film and the students at the school targeted the film’s offensive jokes.

“After screening Zoolander 2, we observed that the film did not portray the LGBTQ community in a positive light and made a series of inappropriate jokes at the expense of individuals of marginalized identities,” the programming board said in an email to The College Fix. “The College Programming Board strives to put on events which support an inclusive community on campus. We did not believe that screening Zoolander 2 reflected our values, nor did it help us promote the campus climate we hope to create.”

Ben Still in Zoolander

“Zoolander 2” too offensive for California college students?

The movie was scheduled to be viewed Friday, April 15, as part of the school’s “Screen on the Green” entertainment line up, screening Deadpool instead.

“Though Deadpool is a R-rated movie it does not target marginalized identities the way Zoolander did. Our choice to cancel the film was a calculated choice that we felt would support and respect our community on campus,” the statement added.

Max Benavidez, associate vice president for public affairs and communications at Claremont McKenna College, deferred questions on the matter to the students, according to The Fix.

“The CPB is a student managed organization and it would be best if you asked them for a response,” he said in an email to The College Fix. “To the best of my knowledge this was a CPB decision made independently of the College administration.”

In announcing the decision to the campus Friday, the programming board stated: “The movie for tonight’s Screen on the Green has changed. Previously we had planned to show Zoolander 2. After the team reviewed the movie it is clear that it does not represent many different communities well and we do not wish to support this type of behavior. CPB is committed to inclusive and exciting programming. We hope you will join us in committing to making our community a better place for each individual.”

Some mocked that decision on social media, suggesting it was silly or that Deadpool is actually more offensive than Zoolander 2.

In a statement to The College Fix on Sunday, Claremont McKenna College student John Marshall said he disagrees with the programming board’s decision.

“The entire movie is written on stereotypes taken to the extreme, that’s why it’s funny,” he said. “Following a line of reasoning of boycotting movies that ‘do not represent communities well’ will have us boycotting movies that depict jocks as meat heads, blondes as dumb, and guys as messy.”


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About the Author

- Sierra is a copy writer for The Dispatch, focusing primarily on pop culture and stories linked to the latest Christian headlines, both in the U.S. and overseas.

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