Paul Feig Reflects on ‘Ghostbusters’ Trolls, Realizing Woman-Hating Is Real
Perhaps Kylie Jenner was right — maybe 2016 sincerely *has been* about realizing things. The latest and likeliest defense comes from Ghostbusters writer/director Paul Feig, who's learned a tough lesson this year: there are a lot of American men who just baselessly hate women.
In a new Hollywood Reporter essay, Feig says that when he first announced the woman-fronted Ghostbusters reboot — which stars Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Kristen Wiig — two years ago, he was met with relentless excitement from enduring fans of the '80s classic film. But when news began to circulate around media hubs that cater more specifically to male readers, the tone changed, and suddenly, Feig and the project were met with total vitriol.
"I love funny women and thought it would be an interesting take on the long-dormant franchise," he wrote. "Simply put, it was like a punch in the gut. I never expected so much blatant hostility...the truth is, there were a lot of men critical of the mere fact it would have women in the leads."
And while Feig's epiphany wasn't a pleasant one, he said it did offer him hope that women will continue to fight against antifeminist sentiment. He, too, committed to fighting on their behalf.
"While I would never dare pretend to know exactly what women go through on a daily basis, as an advocate for women onscreen and in the industry, I definitely learned a lot more than I expected," he noted. "Mainly, 'Wow, the will of women is much stronger than even I thought.'...Every day, as the negativity poured into my feed, so did a much larger outpouring of support and excitement from women around the globe."
Now, Feig has vowed to continue to create roles that acknowledge women are three-dimensional beings and can be kickass heroes.
"Those of us in entertainment can't let ourselves be stopped by disapproval, false outrage and resistance from a vocal micro-minority," he wrote. "My team and I created an inspiring group of heroes for women, and that's a big deal. Our Ghostbusters are now owned by the millions of people around the world who have claimed them as their own. And that is a victory that no troll can take away."
Look Back at a Collection of Set Photos From Ghostbusters Filming: