So Patton Oswalt saw an early screening of the Ghostbusters reboot yesterday. Apparently, he liked it:
Just saw an early screening of GHOSTBUSTERS. It’s fun. It’s scary. It’s terrific. Stay ’til after the credits.
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) July 7, 2016
The reboot has been, um, controversial among fans, to say the least. So of course Oswalt was immediately subjected to the predictable ire of people who were deeply offended that he enjoyed a thing.
That’s to be expected, of course. But a Facebook friend of mine pointed out one reaction that was beyond the pale. This appeared on a DVD Talk forum, and, as of this writing anyway, is still there:
In case you can’t see the photo, that’s a commenter who felt the need to bring the recent death of Oswalt’s wife, Michelle McNamara, into a conversation about a movie. Not only that, the poster questioned the legitimacy of Oswalt’s grief, and even seemed to imply that there was something fishy about McNamara’s death. Over a movie.
I’ll say it again: Over a movie.
Can we all agree that’s going a bit far? Actually, as my Facebook friend put it: “If your defense of your hatred of the new Ghostbusters is so extreme that you need to attack Patton Oswalt about his wife’s death because he tweeted that he liked the film, you are objectively a terrible person.”
I couldn’t agree more. There’s a dark side within fandom that sucks a lot of the joy out of loving the things we love — a dark side that says, “If you don’t agree with me, not only will I take it personally, I’ll make it personal.”
From doxxing Felicia Day to belittling Patton Oswalt’s grief, this kind of thing is becoming all too common, and the fan community needs to stand up to it. We need to make it clear that it’s not okay. And no, I’m not sure how or where to begin. But we need to keep the conversation going.