Ghostbusters Reboot Controversy

Ghostbusters Reboot Controversy

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Updated Jun 28, 2019 at 03:09PM EDT by Kevinvq2.

Added Jul 11, 2016 at 05:37PM EDT by Don.

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The Ghostbusters Reboot Controversy refers to the online backlash directed toward the 2016 supernatural comedy film Ghostbusters, a reboot of the titular 1980s comedy film franchise. While many claimed the criticisms of the film were based on the script and casting decisions, others claimed the backlash was largely rooted in sexist attitudes towards the all-female cast.


While rumors of a potential third film in the Ghostbusters series have been circulating since 2010, the plan for the project came to a halt following the death of co-writer and co-star Harold Ramis on February 24th, 2014. Despite this unexpected setback, Sony Pictures continued to seek the production of a new Ghostbusters film, and by January 2015, a completely original reboot of Ghostbusters was announced under the direction of Paul Feig, the creator of the critically acclaimed TV series Freaks and Geeks and the director of the 2011 comedy film Bridesmaids, with an all-female main cast starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon. In June 2015, the principal photography for the project began in Boston and New York City; following the conclusion of the filming on September 19th, Sony Pictures announced that the box office release of the reboot is slated for July 15th, 2016.


Online Reactions

On January 28th, 2015, Donald Trump posted a video to his official Instagram[6] page lamenting the all-female casting in the new Ghostbusters film (shown below).

#IndianaJones and #Ghostbusters- what's wrong??? #TrumpVlog

A video posted by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on

The following day, The Daily Dot[7] reported that the upcoming reboot was "generating a sexist backlash" online. On February 5th, 2016, Redditor JoeDaEskimo submitted a 4chan screenshot of a green text story parodying a scene from the upcoming film to /r/4chan[2] (shown below). Prior to being archived, the post gathered upwards of 8,500 votes and 440 comments.

Official Trailer

On March 3rd, 2016, the official trailer for the film was released (shown below). Within four months, the trailer gained over 35 million views, 925,000 dislikes and 264,000 likes. The following day, Redditor Jimmy_Black submitted the trailer to /r/videos,[3] noting that it had already received 60% dislikes within the first 24 hours.

On March 13th, YouTuber Darren Wallace uploaded a video titled "Marshmallow Man Reacts to Ghostbusters Trailer," featuring an animation of the fictional mascot Stay Puft Marshmallow Man committing suicide after viewing the trailer (shown below). Over the next four months, the video accumulated more than 3.5 million views and 4,200 comments.

During an interview on The John, Jay & Rich Show on May 2nd, Ghostbusters actress Melissa McCarthy revealed that she expressed concerns about the trailer to the studio but had been "ignored" (shown below).

"No Review I Refuse"

On May 16th, 2016, pop culture review site Cinemassacre released a six-and-a-half-minute-long video titled "Ghostbusters 2016. No Review. I refuse" featuring James Rolfe, the longtime YouTube vlogger best known for his character The Angry Video Game Nerd. In the video, Rolfe declares that he refuses to go see the reboot of Ghostbusters or review it based on what has been revealed thus far about the film (shown below).

Although the video was met with positive reception from his fans and others who shared his sentiment, Rolfe’s statement was also mocked by several media outlets and celebrities for his bias against the movie that has yet to have been released.

Jimmy Kimmel Live Appearance

On June 9th, the cast appeared as guests on the late night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live, where they addressed online critics of the reboot and referred to them as men who live with their mothers at 45-years-old (shown below). Over then next month, a YouTube upload of the appearance gathered upwards of 769,000 views, 12,000 dislikes and 3,800 likes.

Theme Song

On June 23rd, 2016, the FallOutBoyVEVO YouTube channel uploaded the audio for the theme song for the film, performed by the pop punk band Fall Out Boy featuring rapper Missy Eilliot (shown below). Within three weeks, the upload received upwards of 6.1 million views and 36,000 comments, with many expressing disappointment with the quality of the theme song. The following day, Redditor NixonForBreadsident submitted the song to /r/KotakuInAction[1] with the tag "[Cringe]".

Also on June 24th, an image macro featuring a photograph of comedian Justin Drew captioned with a joke about the theme song was submitted to /r/standupshots,[4] where it accumulated more than 7,100 votes (84% upvoted) and 650 comments within three weeks.


On July 8th, 2016, YouTuber WrecklessEating posted a negative review of an early screening of the film, which criticized the characters for having poor chemistry and promoting outdated stereotypes (shown below). In 72 hours, the video gained over 842,000 views and 3,900 comments.

The following day, Ghostbusters premiered at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Within 48 hours of release, the film held a 76% rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes[8] and a score of 62/100 on Metacritic.[9] On July 11th, a screenshot of a deleted comment from /r/movies speculating about why the film received positive reviews was submitted to /r/KotakuInAction,[5] where it gathered upwards of 5,900 votes (85% upvoted) and 980 comments in the first 24 hours.

Box Office Reception

Ghostbusters had a strong opening weekend, earning $46 million.[10] However, as of August 10th, 2016, the film has grossed $180 million of its $300 million budget, leading experts to project a $70 million loss, damaging the chance for future live-action sequels.[11]

Search Interest

External References

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Top Comments

Hugh man
Hugh man

I saw it, it was really fucking awful, I feel like the good reviews are coming from feminists and feminist organizations that don't want to be proven wrong. Or maybe I'm just crazy but do you notice how almost all of the good reviews mention the fact that they are women?


Looks like they finally figured out how to use the SJW crowd as a meatshield against criticism for a shitty movie. Holy fuck this is just sad. Imagine how much money they make off of all the publicity, positive and negative, while having their own group of movie "critics" hallowing the ground they walk on.


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