Here comes the truth, the new trailer of Ghostbusters has become the most disliked ‘movie category’ video on YouTube (not including music videos or the newest installment of Call of Duty), but why has it become so disliked? Some may argue the fact that Ghostbusters did not need a reboot and should be left the way it was while others argue that it is due to an all-female cast. But which one is it?
Currently there is over 700,000 dislikes on Sony’s upload with a total amount of 31 million views. The numbers become stranger when you factor in other movies: The official teaser for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, a movie that seems anecdotally much derided on social media, only has 16,489 thumbs-down votes based on almost twice as many views as the Ghostbusters trailer. The trailer for last year’s dramatic flop Fantastic Four? Only 7,302 downvotes.
To dive a little deeper we looked into the most downvoted videos on YouTube and immediately you can notice a standout quality for all of them… most are female fronted videos.
It is difficult to argue against the fact that the original classic Ghostbusters did not require a reboot. In it’s cultural context in 1984, the team was casted with four men, the women’s role was to be the damsel-in-distress, and the admin assistant- for the period, this was the norm. Times have changed, but are our beloved classics meant to be constantly adjusted to fit cultural evolutions? It is likely that the generations old enough to remember them would feel robbed and want to keep their favorite movies intact.
Admittedly, a reboot of Ghostbusters casted in the same manner as today wouldn’t have been very acceptable. And no, adding a token female to the group (“and I’m the girl!” she says to the screen, describing the extent of her personality) doesn’t help. Viewers, however, don’t seem have an issue with females being casted as Ghostbusters, but are unhappy with the overall package this (undeniably, horrible) trailer offers. This fully gender-swapped version is soaked with the progressive movements of today. It sends a forceful, overly obvious message that turns a cherished cult film into a lecture.
There are plenty of movies with strong female leads that have not only done well but have become box office hits. Such movies include The Hunger Games, Divergent, Tomb Raider, Kill Bill and many more. However, the new Ghostbuster gals don’t look like Katniss or Lara Croft, in fact, their body types are rarely seen at the forefront of any film. The Ghostbusters jump suits were not adjusted with breast cups and swapped for spandex either. Some in favour of the new Ghostbusters film have argued that the common objectification of women and unspoken bodily criteria are behind it’s lack of popularity- because apparently, if four women should be on-screen for a full length film, they should be babes. This is a powerful first that nerdy women hope will set a different standard in the future.
There are clear flaws and good elements to this upcoming film. Ghostbusters is set to release on July 15, 2016 when we will all find out if this trailer fiasco will result in a poor release. Who knows, they always say “any press is good press” right?