I don't usually post out of my Tuesday/Thursday schedule, but sometimes you need to get on a topic while it's hot.
This morning I read that Ghostbusters star Ernie Hudson is against the all-female reboot of the franchise. You can read his comments here.
Let me state what most of you probably already know: I am a HUGE Ghostbusters fan. I cried when I read the news of Harold Ramis' death. I met Dan Aykroyd on a film set and was the absolute worst grinning fanboy I could possibly have been. When I was a little kid, I made my own proton pack from a cereal box. In the Memory Wars Trilogy, Nathan Shepherd's father was a veteran of Hook & Ladder No. 8, the firefighter company whose firehouse served as the exterior of the Ghostbusters' HQ.
I am so utterly disappointed in Ernie Hudson's attitude. Not least of all for how dismissive it is to write off an all-female cast as a bad idea, or how horribly misogynist it is to say "I hope that if they go that way at least they'll be funny, and if they're not funny at least hopefully it'll be sexy."
So because they're casting women, there are doubts that a comedy is going to be funny? But it won't be too bad if we at least see some tits and ass? Is that the message Ernie Hudson wants to give?
Also, dude, don't call them "females." Female is a gender descriptor. Unless Paul Feig starts casting cats and dogs in this thing, the cast are going to be people. Human beings. Call them women, it's not that scary a word.
What's worse is now so many people are responding, feeling justified in their attitude that there shouldn't be an all-female cast. Now all the sexist trolls out there have one of the original Ghostbusters to validate their attacks against the movie. Well done, Zeddemore...
You know what really pisses me off about this? Every time I post an article criticising some sexist treatment of women in the media, there's guaranteed to be at least one guy who tells me to focus on the positive things instead of attacking the negative, to support the movies, books, and games that do represent women well. Here we have one of the most important chances ever for women to get a fair shot in action roles, and it's being torn down before it's even been cast.
What's it really about? Looking at Ernie Hudson's interview, it seems to me that he's just bitter because he thinks an all-female cast will mean he can't be in the movie. It's not an uncommon thing. People say "women aren't interested in this kind of movie, so why bother marketing to them?" Then when women show up and want to be a part of it, a bunch of guys push back and say it's a gimmick, or not fair to men. What it comes down to is they just don't want to share. They want their own box of toys and want women to have a different box.
Slam the movie for being a reboot if you want. Complain about the writer and the director if you didn't like their past work. But don't bitch about women being cast as the team and act like there's any kind of artistic critique behind it.
You want to know why Ghostbusters is important? And why this reboot is important?
Ghostbusters was the first thing I'd seen which showed me that yes, there are monsters and ghosts and scary things, but there are also people who can beat them head on. The Ghostbusters didn't run and hide, or use tricks to get away from the monsters. They faced them with courage, using their knowledge to defeat them and save the day. They were experts in their field, who took chances and came out as heroes.
Making a Ghostbusters movie with an all-female cast would be the biggest franchise gender-swap since Starbuck in the Battlestar Galactica reboot. We've never seen a major movie event centered around women who come together under their own initiative, using expert scientific knowledge to overcome a threat. This movie tells girls and women that they don't have to settle for being the receptionist while the guys save the world, that they don't even have to settle for being like the Ghostbusters. They can be the Ghostbusters.
So yes, I will cheer this movie. I will be there in the cinema to see it, and I will tell everyone to go see it. Because this is one of those positive things people keep saying I should talk about. And I will not stand for it being pissed on just because a bunch of men don't want to play nice and share their stuff.