Ben Stiller Won't Remove Donald Trump in 'Zoolander' Despite Outcry

Ben Stiller has no plans to make a new edit of Zoolander free of President Donald Trump. Stiller, who directed, co-wrote, and starred in the celebrity cameo-packed satire on the fashion industry and it includes an appearance from both Trump and future First Lady Melania Trump. Although Stiller has been asked about cutting Trump repeatedly, he noted that Trump represented something different when the film was made in 2001.

In Zoolander, the Trumps can be spotted heaping praise on Stiller's outrageous male model Derek Zoolander as red carpet interviewees at the VH1 Fashion Awards. Stiller said people have asked him to cut it, but "at the end of the day, that was a time when that exists and that happened," he told The Daily Beast's podcast The New Abnormal. Stiller noted that there were "so many movies" from the 1990s and early 2000s featuring "a silly cameo" from Trump because he "represented a certain thing" then. Trump can be spotted in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Two Weeks Notice, Celebrity and The Little Rascals, notes Indiewire. He is also in episodes of Spin City, Sex and the City, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The Nanny.

Stiller said the Trump cameo in Zoolander came about at the last moment. "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," he explained.

Elsewhere in the podcast, Stiller was asked about Tropic Thunder, his 2008 satire on Hollywood that features Robert Downey Jr. as an Australian movie star who wears blackface. Downey earned an Oscar nomination for the role but has remained controversial, particularly amid the protests against racism. Although the movie is only 12 years old, Stiller said it "would not have been made" today. "It would be tone-deaf right now to make it," he said.

This week, Stiller and his sister Amy also appeared on Stars in the House to discuss their late father, comedy legend Jerry Stiller, who died on May 11 at age 92. Stiller said his father was completely opposite to Frank Costanza, the character he played on Seinfeld. "His character on the show, my dad’s character, was so not like my dad. That’s the thing," Stiller said. "He was so not like that as a father. I mean literally the opposite."