Paul Feig Is Over the "Misogynistic" Backlash to "Ghostbusters"
Paul Feig was oblivious to the mean, dark underbelly of the Internet until he decided to make an all-female reboot of "Ghostbusters." But ever since the film was announced to widely negative reactions and especially after its trailer famously became most disliked trailer on YouTube, Feig seems to have found a new understanding of this particularly ugly side of sexism.
"I have been hit with some of the worst misogynistic stuff," Feig said during a panel discussion at the PGA's annual Produced By conference. "I used to [hear] that people had haters and I was like, 'How does that happen?'"
"Ghostbusters" stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon as new characters, not gender-swapped versions of the characters played by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and company in the 1984 original. Still, vocal segments of the Internet have been horrified by the notion of girls as Ghostbusters ever since the movie was announced, even if they swear it's not sexism driving them at all. Feig has previously expressed his surprise at the ire that came following the reboot's announcement, telling Variety earlier this year that responses on Twitter have been "vicious."
"The biggest thing I've heard for the last four months is, 'Thanks for ruining my childhood.' It's going to be on my tombstone when I die," Feig said at the time. "It's so dramatic. Honestly, the only way I could ruin your childhood is if I got into a time machine and went back and made you an orphan."
During the panel discussion, which was entitled "Social Change at the Box Office: The Potential of Gender Parity, Diversity and STEM," Feig said the reboot has not been able to shake descriptors common to films that star and focus on women.
"We still get called, in the press, a 'chick-flick,'" he said. "We are never not referred to as the 'all-female Ghostbusters,' which makes me crazy."
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