Feig Ruined Ghostbusters and That Doesn’t Make Me Sexist
Since the movie was announced I’ve only seen two types of commentary “I hate this” and “nobody cares because you’re sexist”. I fall in neither camp, but I sympathize with group A more than group B. There are plenty of products and stories I am invested in (Ghostbusters not being one of them) and if they were drastically changed I would also be upset. I would be upset because I have a stake in the product. I would be more upset by the countless articles telling me I don’t have a right to my upsetness, that I’m being a baby, or accusing me of being something I’m not (a sexist).
As an artist I definitely wouldn’t want to invest valuable energy that should be used pitching my product by telling would-be fans that I don’t care about them. You’ve destined your product to fail if you do that.
Again, I don’t enjoy Ghostbusters because I don’t like ghosts (can’t suspend my disbelief far enough to get into it), but I see no reason, based on advertising, for the gender-swap. Am I a sexist for pointing out the decision is obviously an arbitrary political statement and not an artistic choice? Would I be a sexist for being upset with one if one of my favorite products was used as a political statement? Would I be sexist for the outrage I feel when a director or acror tells me they “don’t care” over and over because they don’t have the same stakes in the product I do?
Ghostbusters goes beyond two cannonical movies. Ghostbusters fans have had games and action figures and lunch boxes and Saturday morning cartoons and comics and T-shirts and fan fiction… Years of living these stories and loving these characters and introducing new generations to them by watching classic movies with their own children. Now they’re being told if they favor 20 plus years of joy to what looks like will be an hour and a half of meh, they are sexist and the creatives don’t care about them.
I don’t know how you can’t empathize with that kind of brand abandonment and spitting on loyal fans. It’s not just a matter of a few saying “I don’t want this” (it’s a lot more than a few), it’s a matter of there not having been an demand for the reboot to begin with.
Fans wanted the original guys for over two decades. They’re being force-fed four people they don’t like and shouldn’t have to like just because they’re female. If you don’t like it, you’re a sexist.
I call shenanigans.
There are other things that frustrate me further. One of the actresses made a flippant remark about women empowerment and women being able to have the same success in films as men. I agree. However, using Ghostbusters is a poor example of this. It may succeed or fail based purely on brand recognition and that does not support women empowerment. The men who made the original two movies did so from the ground up, making names for themselves, the characters, and the universe without shoehorning themselves into an existing product and declaring “me too.”
Lastly, the casual way in which these actors and Feig make fun of brain health problems and mental illness and suggesting Ghostbusters fans of a certain caliber need therapy, is insulting to fans and people with mental health conditions. People with mental health conditions aren’t allowed to enjoy movies? People who connect to movies have mental health conditions? The alternative is you’re a sexist whose opinion doesn’t matter?
I love that women are empowered in the 21st century. I think you’re mistaken if you think this is a shining example. Shining examples are Tomb Raider, Last of Us, Mirror’s Edge, Kill Bill, Jessica Jones, Agent Carter, Orange is the New Black, Resident Evil, Metroid…
And if one of those products released with a gender-swap male character as the lead, I wouldn’t be sexist for being a bit disappointed.
#Ghostbusters #Feig #Sexism #WomenRule #SoDoBoys