Though the news is old now, it only took hours for the Internet to implode following the announcement of the female-led Ghostbusters 3. For 25 years, rumors of a third sequel to the much-beloved franchise were variably squashed and nurtured, but earlier this year, the reimagining of the original film was officially announced in honor of its impending 30th anniversary, complete with release date (July 22, 2016) and cast (SNL’s Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones).
And while Dan Aykord, who co-wrote the original movie and who has long been considered the guardian of the franchise, has given the film his stamp of approval, calling the casting “magnificent,” swaths of (overwhelmingly unsavory) Internet denizens immediately made their (equally unsavory) opinions known – including, oddly enough, Donald Trump. The wildly wealthy Internet mogul seems deeply, almost existentially, upset by the rumors of an Indiana Jones reboot sans Harrison Ford, and the all-girl Ghostbusters.
Trump is not alone in this sentiment. The casting of the new Ghostbusters is a triumph for female representation, and a blow against ageism, sizeism, and Hollywood’s lack of POC representation, all at once. Each of these woman boast prestigious and storied comedic careers, much in the way Akroyd and Murray did prior to the original film – and yet, Trump’s cries have been echoed nonstop by misogynists since the casting information was released.
These are just a small sampling of the wealth a cursory Googling into the subject will reveal. Most of the decriers of the casting are male, white, and in their thirties and forties, and they probably grew up loving the original Ghostbusters. That’s all totally fine. I grew up loving The Last Unicorn, and I would also probably be upset if they rebooted it with anyone except Jeff Bridges voicing the prince. But that’s not what they’re upset about. They’re not ticked that Bill Murray probably won’t be in the film: they’re pissed that the film stars four women. Their arguments against the casting are inherently, violently, fedora-tiltingly sexist, and their hateful, MRA-tagging tweets serve only to illustrate what women already know: sexism is not dead.
Casting four funny, clever, feminist leads in the Ghostbuster reboot (half of whom Murray recommended) was a good idea, and not just because 52 percent of moviegoers are women. New fans will be drawn into the franchise, and longtime fans who believe that women are people will get the chance to see the much-beloved story rendered anew in a modern age. Encouragingly, social media has offered an outcrying of support for the movie, too:
If you are upset about the casting in the Ghostbusters reboot, I urge you to examine the reason why. Just because a beloved childhood classic is being remade, and you worry that it won’t be as good as the iconic original? That’s probably a fair criticism. Or are you upset because the stars are all female? That’s pretty sexist.