Last week’s Ghostbusters reboot trailer damn near melted the internet, stoking the fanboy fire unlike anything that has ever come along in these modern days of social media outrage. The trailer has a staggering 345,000 plus dislikes on YouTube. Paul Feig’s female remake of the 1984 classic has drawn the ire of angry, bitter little boys claiming “I’m not being sexist but…” right before crying into the abyss that this new film is “raping their childhood” and “this is just contrived feminist agenda.” There’s plenty of vitriolic, garbage comments like this one out there:
“Yes, I dislike this move because it’s an all female cast. And it has nothing to do with being sexist. This is just ruining an iconic story/movie.”
There are some legitimate complaints about the film scattered here and there, namely the CGI and the Leslie Jones character (more on that later). Those are perfectly fine, of course. But if these were the only complaints circulating, the trailer wouldn’t have an unprecedented number of dislikes and a comment section full of hateful bile. Consider the Batman v Superman trailers, which are polarizing to say the least. The highest number of dislikes for any one of those trailers is around 14,000. The hatred toward Ghostbusters, after one trailer, is not only unjustified and primarily gender driven, it’s an example of how disgusting little boys who are afraid of losing sight of their childhood can be when they are allowed to spew their insecurities online anonymously.
Angry fanboys, stop complaining about the all-female cast ruining your childhood. Despite what you might think in your warped little brain, not all copies of Ivan Reitman’s original film are being collected and burned in a fire on this film’s opening night. It isn’t being taken off streaming services or television. You can still watch the original Ghostbusters as often as you’d like. Nobody is invading your nostalgic, juvenile memory banks and erasing your memory of the original film. Two things can exist at the same time in the universe. If you don’t like it, don’t see it. Keep your inner teenage angst off the comment sections. Grow up.
Maybe you should stop and think about the fact that your childhood exists in your memory, it is not a fluid, present-day ideology that shapes the rest of your life. Here’s a weird thought: maybe this new Ghostbusters film will inspire an entirely new generation of female fans, young girls who can identify with these characters and who will have their own childhoods shaped by this reboot. Yes, contrary to the thoughts in your narrow mind, not everything is about your childhood. There are new movie fans each and every day, and some of them are even icky girls with cooties. Crazy, isn’t it? Who knows, maybe this new film will turn some of these young girls into women who appreciate and embrace their own geek culture. Maybe they’ll create their own club where dumb boys aren’t allowed. Let’s hope they do.
Let’s think about the RoboCop remake. Remember that one? The trailer on YouTube looked like nothing more than a tired, listless, pointless remake of a seminal 80s science fiction masterpiece. And to boot, the hard R rating was gone in lieu of a cash-grabbing PG-13. That trailer has just over 1,000 dislikes on YouTube. It came and went, and was mostly forgotten. And believe it or not, I’ve actually seen the original film a couple of times since this reboot came out, and I still enjoy it! What a crazy notion. The hate for this senseless reboot was lukewarm, yet here was a film as iconic (even more iconic in some circles) than Ghostbusters. Why didn’t all these little boys in their mother’s basement burn the first trailer to the ground? Well, because RoboCop was still a boy in the movie. Switch out Joel Kinneman with, say, Rose Byrne, and we would have all heard the collective sound of grown ass men’s heads exploding.
You can justify your sexist comments all you want by beginning them with “this isn’t sexist, but…” That doesn’t change the fact that whatever you’re about to say is entirely motivated by the fact you’re being inherently sexist. And while we’re at it, when did the original Ghostbusters become an untouchable classic? Remakes, reboots, and long-gap sequels are more common these days than original films. The original Ghostbusters is a good film, one I do enjoy and yes, one that shaped a great deal of my own childhood. It’s right up there with The Never Ending Story and The Goonies as movies I wore out watching over and over. I love it. But is it some sort of masterpiece? No. It’s a fun, effects-heavy action comedy with some great icons of the 80s. But I’m not angry that this new Ghostbusters has swapped all the gender roles, because somewhere between 1984 and the present I grew up. I matured into an adult with the ability to separate things in my brain, and I came to understand – as most actual adults do – that women have enough of an uphill battle in society in a number of different areas that them getting their own version of a pop culture classic is the least we can do. Literally. The least.
All you angry fanboys don’t have an opinion about the fact women make less doing the same job in our work force. You don’t think there is a rape culture all over college campuses and beyond, probably because you are part of it. You just know that these yucky girls are hurting your sensitive little feelings. And I guarantee that, of all the 350,000 of you who took the time to click the dislike button on the trailer, less than 20% of you will take the same amount of time to vote in November to keep a raving fascist lunatic out of the White House. Because those are real issues you know nothing about. Because they have nothing to do with a movie you really liked when you were a little boy. Besides, you’d probably have to have your mom give you a ride to go vote in November, and we all know women can’t drive.
Some of you have your head in the right spot when you complain about Leslie Jones’s character in the trailer, who seems to be playing up racial stereotypes. But complaining she isn’t a scientist? Give me a break. Even Jones herself has defended the character, all thirty second we saw from the first trailer:
Why can't a regular person be a ghostbuster. Im confused. And why can't i be the one who plays them i am a performer. Just go see the movie!
— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) March 4, 2016
ITS NOT A MAN, WOMAN, RACE, CLASS THANG!! ITS A GHOSTBUSTER THANG!! AND AS FAR AS IM CONCERNED WE ALL GHOSTBUSTERS!! STAND TALL!!
— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) March 4, 2016
Sure, Jones is being paid millions of dollars (probably less than what a man would be paid for the same role in 2016) to support her film, but if she’s okay with the interpretation of her character that’s fine with me.
There are legitimate complaints to be had about this Ghostbusters trailer, but be realistic here. The CGI may look a little shoddy, but remember early trailers sometimes don’t have refined CGI (see: BvS). Jones could turn out to be problematic, but let’s wait and see. Perhaps you don’t think it looks very funny, or good, or whatever. I wasn’t blown away really. But did I take the time to dislike the trailer on YouTube? No, for a number of reasons. First of all, this is Paul Feig, and after Spy, Bridesmaids, and even a larger portion of The Heat, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Feig knows how to allow women to flex their comedic muscles. I also wouldn’t take the time to click the dislike button because I’m secure in my masculinity. I don’t feel threatened by these girls sneaking into the boy’s club.
And if there were nothing but legitimate complaints about the film, the dislike button wouldn’t be filling up at a record pace. It would have a few thousand dislikes and comments. The Doomsday CGI in BvS was obviously unrefined, but the dislikes didn’t come close to Ghostbusters. No, this is about gender, no matter how you want to frame your trash sexist opinion. Complain about the actual film all you want if you don’t think it looks good, but setting your sights on the fact these Ghostbusters are women? Save that for your tree house club.