Since announcing a remake of the beloved supernatural comedy Ghostbusters, director Paul Feig has fended off intense criticism from fans who are enraged not just by the mere existence of a remake (which will enrage folks no matter what), but by the director’s audacious decision to opt for an all-star cast of brilliant female comedians.
Thanks to YouTube, the hostility facing Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot is on full display. Despite racking up almost 30 million views in the past two months, the movie’s official trailer has amassed 610,000 dislikes, making it the first video of its kind to land on YouTube’s 100 most disliked videos of all time.
The question is: why so much hate?
“People are disliking this movie because it is a shitty remake and they picked the most unfunny female comedians for it,” one YouTube user wrote. “Not liking unfunny women is not mysoginy. [sic]”
And while many of the video’s commenters are quick to insist they’re definitely not misogynists (they just don’t think funny women are funny, okay?), an investigation by Consequence of Sound suggests the trailer may not be as universally reviled as the numbers indicate. According to COS, the driving force behind the movie’s magnitude of down votes may just be “some bad apples and temperamental brats abusing their right to an opinion.” The movie website Screencrush seconded COS’s findings, insisting the ratio of views to dislikes hints at an organized effort to down-vote the trailer.
The seemingly concerted effort to snub the trailer, combined with the internet’s original reaction to news of an all-female lead cast, suggests the hate may be more complicated than people “disliking this movie because it is a shitty remake.” After first announcing the gender switch last year, the Guardian reported that Feig said the backlash was “some of the most vile, misogynistic shit I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Now the director is trying to stymie the influx of criticism in preparation for the movie’s July 15 release. “The haters on our trailer were very proud of the fact they had racked up 400,000 dislikes on YouTube versus 200,000 likes,” Feig told the Guardian. “But that’s not a majority by anybody’s standards. Some of it is that people don’t want an old property touched—I’m sympathetic to that. But the ones who are hating it because it’s about women? That’s just a non-starter.”
“It makes me sad that [the negativity] informs every article now,” Feig added. “There’s always some comment about how people are down on it. Well, somebody is down on everything. It’s very easy once you’re predisposed to be pissed about something, to watch it and find fault.”
Watch the trailer here. (Defy you not to laugh.)