BEN STILLER has revealed he has repeatedly refused requests for him to remove Donald Trump’s cameo from the hit comedy Zoolander.
According to the comedian and writer, he has been inundated with messages from fans calling for him to take the US President’s appearance out of the film.
Trump appears alongside Melania in a brief sequence in which the couple are interviewed at the VH1 Fashion Awards.
The scene sees former Apprentice host voice his appreciation for Derek Zoolander, the fictional male model Stiller plays in the enjoyably daft takedown of the fashion industry.
Speaking on the Daily Beast podcast, The New Abnormal, Stiller explained how the Trumps ended up in the film.
While not necessarily a Trump supporter, Stiller nevertheless went on the record to explain why he is opposed to the idea of erasing them from the history of Zoolander.
“We were shooting at the now-defunct VH1 Fashion Awards,” he said.
“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.
“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.”
The US President made several notable film and television cameos in the years before he became the face of the hit reality series The Apprentice.
These cameos include roles in Home Alone 2, Sex and the City and Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps.
Stiller is one of several filmmakers who has faced criticism as part of the Black Lives Matter protests over his engagement with issues of race on the screen.
Tropic Thunder, the action comedy written and directed by Stiller, now carries a warning on Sky Movies related to the appearance of Robert Downey Jr in blackface.
Downey Jr plays Kirk Lazarus an Australian method actor who undergoes controversial "pigmentation alteration" surgery to darken his skin for his portrayal of the black character Staff Sergeant Lincoln Osiris.
The original script had called for Lazarus to be Irish in a clear nod to Daniel Day Lewis, but Downey Jr struggled with the accent, meaning he instead opted to directly lampoon Russell Crowe.