Claremont McKenna College's student programming board cancelled a planned screening of Zoolander 2 because the film's humor is inappropriate and comes "at the expense of individuals of marginalized identities."
The college ultimately decided to show Deadpool instead.
Of course, many people would probably find the R-rated Deadpool a whole lot more offensive than the PG-13 rated Zoolander 2. I've seen Deadpool. It's incredibly violent, graphically sexual, and contains plenty of offensive humor of its own. (It's also a great film.)
The difference, it seems, is that Zoolander 2 offends "marginalized identities."
"Though 'Deadpool' is a R-rated movie it does not target marginalized identities the way Zoolander did," the programming committee wrote in an email to The College Fix. "Our choice to cancel the film was a calculated choice that we felt would support and respect our community on campus."
I've seen Zoolander, but not its sequel. The second film has been criticized for the problematic manner in which it introduces a possibly transgender character, "All," played by Benedict Cumberbatch. Owen Wilson's character asks "All" whether he/she "has a hot dog or a bun." This isn't the greatest joke ever, and I'm open to the argument that Zoolander 2 might just be a terrible film, or at least, a vastly inferior film to Deadpool.
But the idea that "marginalized identities"–the trans community, in this case—can't handle one stupid joke is more than a little insulting to them. No one should strive to be so fragile.
Can We Take a Joke? a new documentary produced by former Reason staffer Ted Balaker and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education asks whether college campuses are where humor goes to die. Increasingly, the answer seems to be yes.
Maybe next time the college should just show Paddington.