Since the Ghostbusters reboot was first announced, it has received a lot of harsh and undeserved criticism. Back in March 2016, the trailer became the most disliked trailer in youtube’s history. I felt it was a pretty decent trailer, but even if others didn’t, the response from haters seemed excessively – well – hateful. I’m not talking about the people who just didn’t enjoy the movie or are concerned about rebooting a beloved franchise. Those opinions are valid and important. I’m talking more about those that are sending threats, and hateful and misogynistic comments to Paul Feig and the cast. Feig has had to hear such nonsensical claims as “You ruined my childhood,” and much much worse. With this level of hatred and contempt, you’d think Paul Feig and his cast of Ghostbusters committed mass genocide.
It’s not a secret that the hateful and misogynistic comments are due to the fact that the movie features a female cast of Ghostbusters. This movie stars some of the funniest women in comedy: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones.
Just because the new Ghostbusters are women doesn’t ruin anyone’s childhood. They don’t replace or erase the original cast. Dan Akroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson can live on in your childhood memories as heroes. There’s plenty of room for more heroes, even female heroes.
I applaud Paul Feig for deciding to make this next generation of Ghostbusters be women. It’s so important to see women in positions of power in popular media. It helps break negative stereotypes of women, and portrays them as capable, skilled, intelligent, and powerful. They give young girls role models to aspire to. I’m not saying to do away with all male role models, but let there be more of a balance.
It’s so great to see women playing scientists. When Gillian Anderson took on the role as the highly intelligent doctor, Special Agent Dana Scully on the X-Files, she had no idea it would lead to the Scully Effect, the influx of young women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and medicine; career fields that were usually pursued by males. Anderson received many letters from girls telling her that they were pursuing science, medicine, or something similar because of Scully.
The Ghostbusters reboot has become much more than just a movie. It became much more from the moment that it became so aggressively attacked. (I’m not talking about the people that just don’t like the movie, but the ones that are spewing unnecessary hate.) The reason it is met with so much aggression is because it’s shaking up the status quo; and some people just can’t deal with women being portrayed as empowered, or in some cases, they can’t deal with females in powerful positions unless they’re also being sexualized. I love heroes such as Xena, Black Widow, and the Black Canary, but I also love the Ghostbusters in their baggy uniforms. The field of ghostbusting is a messy job, and they’re prone to getting slimed. Their uniforms are actually really practical.
Even when someone online says something positive about the reboot, they’re met with contempt, and in some cases, told to “go kill themselves.” So someone likes a movie that you don’t, and you feel they should go kill themselves because of it??? We’ve heard of enough cases of cyber bullying that’s led to teen suicides. Why would anyone want to perpetuate that level of hatred and ill will toward another human being over a movie preference?
Underneath this high level of aggression is tremendous fear. But why would someone fear a movie? Perhaps it’s a symbol of change. People fight against change because they fear not knowing what’s to come. They get complacent, but it’s time to shake off complacency and welcome change in our world, and in our media. It’s time to see more diversity in TV and movies, and see more women and people of various ethnicities, religions, orientations, etc. in lead (hero) roles. We as people can use our personal power to tell the media what we want to view. Every time we watch a show or buy a movie ticket, we’re telling the media what it is we want to see more of. We are, in a sense, casting a vote to what kind of TV shows and movies we want them to create. If we want to see more shows and movies with women, we should watch more shows and movies with female protagonists. If we want to see more people of color in the media, we should watch more shows and movies that cast actors and actresses of color.
So, let’s tell the media we support this movie and its female Ghostbusters. It was a good movie. It was hilarious and entertaining, and the cast did an amazing job. I’m going to go see this movie again, and spread the word that it’s worth going to see. I’m going to do the same with other movies I enjoy. I’ve already liked them on facebook and twitter, and will continue to offer them my online support. If you like this movie, I hope you’ll show your support.