Justin Theroux is adamant 'Zoolander No. 2' in no way tries to mock trans people.
The 44-year-old actor-and-screenwriter insists Benedict Cumberbatch's androgynous model character All is used to ridicule Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, who play Derek Zoolander and Hansel McDonald respectively.
Although the LGBT community was offended when the first clips and images of All were revealed, Theroux - who co-wrote the film - is adamant once people have seen the movie they will realise what the point of Benedict's alter ego is.
Speaking to website HeyUGuys, the filmmaker said: "The joke is squarely aimed at two ageing models and idiots, and strangely the character is incredibly powerful, the most famous model in the world. I thought it was a very cool idea, so I was a little alarmed at the reaction. I say once people see it they'll realise, we're actually firmly on the side of transgender people.
"It's kind of like just dismissing the meal before trying the food. If you saw something out of context, you might feel offended."
'Zoolander No. 2' was attacked by protest groups prior to the film's release on Friday (12.02.16) with one petition set up to boycott the film receiving over 24,000 signatures.
The petition read: "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."
In the film, Derek meets All for the first time and asks: "Are you, like, a male model or a female model?"
To which the character replies: "All is All."
Hansel then says: "I think what he's asking is do you have a hot dog or a bun?"