Justin Theroux defends Benedict Cumberbatch's <em>Zoolander</em> character

Los Angeles - 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."

See the trailer here:

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