Ivan Reitman thinks most of the ‘Ghostbusters’ backlash wasn’t sexist

People who dislike what they've seen so far from Paul Feig's Ghostbusters can't seem to stop talking about it and therefore those involved in the film  can't either. Director and producer of the original Ghostbusters, Ivan Reitman, has now weighed in on the backlash and thinks there's more to it than sexism.

Reitman is also producer of Feig's new film and attended a few press events recently where journalists got to ask him about the hate the yet-to-be-released film has received – hate that Sony chairman Tom Rothman has called “the greatest thing that ever happened.”

The Hollywood Reporter spoke to Reitman:

“It surprised me a little bit, but then I realized many of the people who are writing were about eight or nine years old when the 1984 Ghostbusters movie came out. It was kind of a seminal moment in their lives,” he told THR. “Look, it's a nice compliment to me, that the film has sort of held up for them as an important cinematic experience in their lives.”

He admitted that while there may have been a certain amount of gender bias against the new cast, “I wouldn't put it at that as much as some sense of disappointment for people who went through this experience themselves.”

Speaking to Mashable, Reitman gave his thoughts more specifically on the gender issues at play in the backlash.

“I think there's way too much talk about gender [when it comes to this film],” he said. “I think that many of the people who were complaining were actually lovers of the [original] movie, not haters of women.”

“I think the lovers of the [original] movie felt there was some kind of sacrilege to re-do it, because it was a seminal part of their moviegoing experience as a 7- or 8-year-old,” Reitman said. “That's something that can't be minimized, and I totally respect that love.”

It's true, many fans of Ghostbusters feel the reboot is just wrong on a basic level but I still can't comprehend why they're still commenting on every single post about the film to let people know that. The film is done, and along with literally every other remake and reboot in Hollywood, they have to accept things like this are going to keep happening because people keep going to see them. And yes, it's obviously being made for the money. They don't have to like that fact but as Feig has said, “Everything ever made in Hollywood since the beginning of time is a cash grab,” reboots or otherwise.

But you also can't ignore some of the sexist things said over the last year and it's also possible to be both a lover of the original movie and say horribly sexist things at the same time. If you're not doing that, fantastic! But there are still people leaving comments on the original trailer TODAY saying “Women simply aren't funny,” “SJW cancer kills everything,” and “Four ugly d–es for social engineering reasons. I think I'll pass.” That's not, “I don't think I'll like this movie so I won't see it.”

“I think we got off to a bad start,” Reitman told Mashable. “It wasn't so much that the trailer was bad or terrible. In its minute and a half, it couldn't represent what the movie actually is.”

You may recall star Melissa McCarthy also thought the first trailer could have been better. That doesn't mean it will be bad, and there's no guarantee it will be good either. Original Ghostbusters Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray have given the film their solid approval and specifically praised the work of the new cast and Reitman is hoping those who are longtime fans will give it a chance.

“All I am asking is that they give the film a shot,” he said. “I think it is a very satisfying and wonderful experience on its own [and] I think most people are going to go with it…”Everybody is my audience. Whether they like what I did or didn't like it. I've certainly had my experience with things that did not work. This movie works, [but] no one's really seen it.”