The tide is turning. Ghostbusters has been re-made. A reboot, by director Paul Feig, features four fantastic ghostbusting babes: Kristen Wiig (whom Feig directed in Bridesmaids), Melissa McCarthy (of Feig’s Spy), Kate McKinnon (SNL’s secret weapon for the last couple of years), and Leslie Jones (in Trainwreck and whose comedy resume goes back further than all the rest). Sounds fantastic, no?
Well, not to some fan boys out there. The movie promotion began about a year ago and its bold cast of ladies has been forced to stare down an abyss of misogyny from the get-go. The backlash began with Ghostbuster fanboys waging an all-out internet war against the new movie, starting with giving its trailer nearly a million thumbs down on YouTube in a weird cyber-attempt to depress enthusiasm and sales. Despite Hollywood’s thriving history with remakes, there are vocal complaints that one will ruin the original and could ruin Ghostbro childhoods.
Melissa McCarthy’s response in The New York Times crystallizes why we love her and want to hang out with her all day: “I think their childhood was pretty much ruined already. If this broke it, it was pretty fragile to begin with. It is good to remember, it is a tiny, tiny fraction that screams. Normal, healthy people don’t stand outside, saying, ‘You’re ruining my childhood!’
According to The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, females comprised only “22% of protagonists in the top 100 films in 2015” (which is sadly a big improvement over previous decades). So isn’t it time we had a female version of Ghostbusters? Hasn’t the box office proven that women are funny and can carry big movies? Director Paul Feig has weighed in on this, and seems as perplexed as we are: “I just don’t understand why it’s ever an issue anymore. I’ve promoted both Bridesmaids and The Heat and [we] are still hit constantly with the question, will this answer the question of whether women can be funny? I really cannot believe we’re still having this conversation.”
Neither can we.
Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Sony/AP Images
All it takes is seeing the faces of little girls, dressed as mini-ghostbusters, greeting Kristen Wiig at the movie’s recent premiere to know that this gender switcheroo is right, and good, and long overdue. These girls will soon become women, and they will expect more female stories, as they pass their Ghostbusters gear down to their daughters. So whether it’s a hit or not (and given Feig’s and his cast’s track records at the box office, it’s got a good shot), Ghostbusters is making history.
We mean HERstory.
Because guess what? It’s 2016 and we are going to slime the ghosts. We are going to slip out of our Hollywood imposed bikinis and into our Ghostbusting jumpsuits (or designer rompers), if we damn well choose.
And yes, we are going to spray our highly-charged proton particles all over Manhattan. Our time has come. Get out of the way.