Follow up: Thoughts on Ghostbusters

In the latest episode of 6ftplus, I rambled a bit about the casting news of the 2016 Ghostbusters movie. Some additional notes:

  • Yes, women have been Ghostbusters but they have been animated. I made note of this as a counterpoint to people who have lost their minds over the idea that somehow, being born without a penis disqualifies you from using a proton pack when there was some kind of evidence, although paltry, that showed Hey, women HAVE been Ghostbusters, why are you being an idiot about this? But I forgot that you can’t reason with someone who decides to publicly complain IN ALL CAPS that women might pretend to shoot lasers at ghosts. Yes, people in 2015 got upset that a MOVIE might show WOMEN pretending to shoot LASERS at GHOSTS.
  • I made note about how I’m reserved about Paul Feig directing, but Ivan Reitman had just as little ‘credentials’ before directing the first Ghostbusters. Ivan Reitman may have been a producer on a couple sci-fi themed elements, but directing wise? He came to Ghostbusters with two major hits under his belt – Stripes and Meatballs, both which featured the same comedian. Paul Feig comes to Ghostbusters with two* major hits** under HIS belt, both which feature the same comedian. It’s my own personal preference that a director with more experience at horror comedy take up this project, but the director of the original didn’t have such prerequisites so why expect them now?
  • I made a sarcastic jab at maybe they might do something novel as having a woman direct the sequel. This, I think, is still a valid criticism. Paul Feig has two recent hits* under his belt, which makes him appealing to a big-budget film. Plus, I’d wager that the studio sees some comfort in being able to add ‘FROM THE MAKERS OF BRIDESMAIDS AND THE HEAT’ to the promotional material as a way to assure people You laughed at these movies, so you’ll love THIS movie. But, are there women who are qualified to direct this movie? Yes! Should they have gone with any of them? OF COURSE. Is it a surprise that they didn’t? NOT AT ALL. The film industry is still horribly imbalanced with representation and so I think that having four women make up the cast of what aims to be a big blockbuster about fighting ghosts with lasers is a GOOD THING– allowing some film representation that indicates that all kinds of people can fight ghosts with lasers and not just one subset of the population–it’s not a knockout blow for equality. It’s just another successful punch in a long, ongoing fight.

So, that’s a follow-up. I didn’t convey these opinions completely in the episode, but I stand by the main points: It’s stupid to argue against the idea of women being able to pretend to shoot ghosts with lasers; while I personally prefer a different director was involved, he comes to the table as qualified as the guy who did the first film; and we need more diversity positions of creative direction to allow for a more diverse range of ideas and perspectives. The world is big enough to share. 

Hopefully, this all was conveyed in the 6ftplus bit, but if not, there you go. Thank you.


*Possibly three, as SPY comes out in April
**Or, maybe just one hit with Bridesmaids, as people didn’t seem to keen on The Heat and who knows, maybe SPY will flop and cause Ghostbusters to be put on hold. God, Hollywood. You’re so fickle.


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