Paul Feig and his Ghostbusters cast of Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, and Melissa McCarthy have been the target of some very weird comments. But they'd like everyone to know childhoods won't be ruined, Hollywood exists to make money, and Ghostbusters is not a battleground for social ideas. Really.
The New York Times did a feature on the new cast and creator of the Ghostbusters and were of course asked about the controversy surrounding the film once again. They reiterated that no childhoods could actually be ruined by the film but were asked directly if they thought there were indeed people who simply don't like a film with a predominantly female cast.
“It”s a relatively new concept. And I think it started in earnest with Bridesmaids and has been growing since then,” said McKinnon. “I remember when Baby Mama came out, I was like: [horrified] 'No one will see this! Why would they do this?' I remember even having a little bit of that reaction myself. It”s this ingrained sexism that”s just, 'That”s not going to work because we haven”t seen that before.' And now we”re seeing more and more of it, and it just is going to become commonplace. It”s not quite commonplace yet.
And is Hollywood going to be looking at this film like a litmus test? Feig said, “Yes, it is being looked at that way. It”s not fair, that in 2016 we should be in this situation where this is standard. That”s where Hollywood should go, 'Wow, we are so behind the times.' There”s so much gender diversity and parity, in other fields. Here it just hasn”t happened and that”s ridiculous.”
But don't take that comment to mean Feig thinks the film is some giant social commentary – Hollywood mainly likes one thing. The NY Times writes:
Why are some people approaching these big-budget fantasy movies – like the new “Star Wars” or your film – as battlegrounds for social ideas?
FEIG: I think it”s the death throes of the old guard. It makes a smaller minority scream louder, because they”re losing their grip on the cliff. I understand, if somebody was remaking “The Godfather,” I would be like, “Wait a minute.” But when everybody”s like, “It”s a cash grab”? Everything ever made in Hollywood since the beginning of time is a cash grab. That”s why the original “Ghostbusters” existed. It wasn”t an altruistic thing. Studios make movies to make money, and filmmakers try to make something that will entertain an audience while trying to make money for the studio.
JONES: They redid “Roots,” and everyone was saying, ‘Oh, it shouldn”t have been done.” I was like, it definitely should have been done. Because it needs to be refurbished for the new generation, so they can understand it. When we did this reboot, I thought “Ghostbusters” fans would be so excited: “They”ve got the new technology – the ghosts are going to look real now.” These kids are not going to get the jokes that Bill and Dan told. There has to be a new story.
Above all, it seems McCarthy is tired of the negative backlash. “I hope hate stops being popular,” she said. “It”s tiring and completely ineffectual.” To that end, she shared a positive story from their time working on the film: “When we were shooting, Paul would bring in pictures of young girls dressing up, and they had made their own proton packs and jumpsuits, and I thought, that”s really cool. I was more aware of that stuff.”