New ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot sparks gender controversy

By DANYELLE KHMARA

Nerds everywhere are protesting the upcoming “Ghostbusters” reboot, starring—gasp—women!

Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids”) will direct the “Ghostbusters” remake, which is scheduled for release on July 22, 2016. The film will star comedians Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones.

The news has spawned an onslaught of opinions, from advocates of female power to die-hard fans.

Feig told Rolling Stone that he loves the original “Ghostbusters” and has no desire to ruin that memory.

“Let’s just restart it because then we can have new dynamics,” he said. “I want the technology to be even cooler.”

There are some who don’t take this “let’s just restart it” business so lightly. Like the barrage of men posting YouTube videos, alone in their basements, grieving over their soon-to-be-ruined childhoods.

Each video starts basically the same way: I’m not sexist but—.

This is usually followed by a rant, pointing out that women have just never fought ghosts. They also make demands, such as—give the fans what they want, and just let the “Ghostbusters” die.

Rolling Stone asked Feig what he thought about a Deadline article titled “Do We Want An Estrogen-Powered ‘Ghostbusters?’”

“I really cannot believe we’re still having this conversation,” Feig said. “When people accuse it of being a gimmick I go, ‘Why is a movie starring women considered a gimmick and a movie starring men is just a normal movie?’”

The Deadline article, written by self-proclaimed film chauvinist Mike Fleming Jr., says there is an economic upside to the double-X chromosome reboot:

“We are seeing a recognition that women will come to the movies if there is something in it for them, as evidenced by the ‘Twilight’ saga, ‘The Hunger Games,’ ‘Divergent,’ ‘The Other Woman’ and last weekend’s winner, ‘Lucy,’ with ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey.’”

Fleming follows his explanation of the women-going-to-movies phenomenon with a question: “Does that give them the right to take ‘Ghostbusters’ from knuckle-dragging Neanderthals like me who have little else going for us but our all-time top 10 or 20 favorite guy movies?”

Well, Fleming Jr., let me put your mind at ease. Feig will not be scouring your movie collection for your old “Ghostbusters”—not your illegal downloads, not your Blu-rays, not your DVDs and certainly not that old VHS copy under your pillow.

Fleming goes on to say he wanted to see the remake star a combination of Hollywood’s leading male comedians such as Jonah Hill, Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn. He even points out that those were the stars of a 2012 movie, “The Watch.”

In “The Watch,” a band of men defend the world against other-worldly beings. There is slime, matching uniforms and weapons that blast neon light. Sound familiar? And yet, according to Fleming, it was a flop.

So, Junior, for your second piece of advice, may I suggest you take a class, at your local community college perhaps, on rhetorical argument.

In Summer 2014, it was announced on “The View” that the new Thor series would star a goddess of thunder.

In an article for the Huffington Post, Sara Roncero-Menendez wrote: “Not a Thor sidekick. Not simply a gender-swapped Thor-ess or Lady Thor. Just ‘Thor,’ a woman worthy of wielding the hammer in her own right.”

Roncero-Menendez touted the importance of diversity.

“It’s important for audiences of all ages to see people like them saving the world, including people who don’t happen to be white heterosexual males,” she said.

On comicsbeat.com, Brett Schenker pointed out that of the 24 million self-identified comic fans on Facebook in the United States, 46.7 percent are female.

The fact of the matter is, women have notoriously been underrepresented in Hollywood.

The top 100 grossing films of 2013 overwhelmingly starred males, according to a report by San Diego State University film professor Martha Lauzen.

“I would say that the film business is in a state of gender inertia,” Lauzen told the Los Angeles Times. “If you take a look at the numbers, you see basically we are in the same place we were about a decade ago.”

Kinda makes you wonder—what the hell, Hollywood? Strong women are in. As a culture, we are hungry for strong females. Women want to be strong, men want to be around them.

Chris Hardwick, the host of @midnight, falls on the side of the debate with people not afraid of the 21st century.

“Embrace this brave new world where women wear jumpsuits and fire neutrino wands,” he says.

Touché Chris, and cheers to a world where women everywhere go to theaters, star in movies and—fight ghosts.

Pg09-Ghostbusters

This cover shows “Ghostbusters” (also known “The New Ghostbusters”) Volume 5, which was released in Summer 2013. (© IDW Publishing Comics)

 

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