Ben Stiller rejects calls to remove Trump cameo from Zoolander

‘That was a time that existed and that happened,’ said the actor and director

Zoolander 2 - Trailer 2

Ben Stiller has announced he has no plans to re-edit Zoolander, amid calls for the removal of a scene featuring Donald Trump.

Prior to becoming president of the US, Donald Trump had a number of small cinematic roles, including in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, and in Stiller’s 2001 fashion-based comedy film.

Speaking on the Daily Beast podcast The New Abnormal, Stiller detailed how Trump, known at the time for being a celebrity of great wealth, became involved in the project.

“We were shooting at the now defunct VH1 Fashion Awards…and as people were coming up the red carpet, we pulled them aside and asked them to talk about Derek Zoolander, and so Trump and Melania did that,” said the Meet the Parents star.

“I’ve had people reach out to me and say, ‘You should edit Donald Trump out of Zoolander,’ but at the end of the day that was a time that existed and that happened,” he added.

The remark comes amid a growing trend of re-evaluating historical pieces of art that could be considered problematic.

This usually takes the form of censoring TV series and films with racist elements – such as Gone with the Wind, which was briefly removed from US streaming service HBO Max amid concerns over its whitewashing of slavery, or Little Britain, which was removed from iPlayer, Netflix and Brit Box because of its use of blackface.

Trump has been accused of racism during and before his time in office, which could be part of the reason behind calls for the president to be excised from Stiller’s light-hearted comedy.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in