Last week, Sony debuted the trailer for Paul Feig’s reboot of Ghostbusters to a mixed response. One fan went so far as to edit the trailer to remove all the jokes, and instead focus on the action scenes. Feig chose to stay silent on the matter, perhaps assuming nothing he said would make a difference to those who already made up their minds about his film. That is until the director caught wind of attacks being levied against members of his cast, particularly Leslie Jones. Feig chose to respond in kind, and his statement isn’t likely to win over any of Ghostbusters detractors.
In response to a tweet by Jones in which the actress suggested she would soon leave the social media platform due to criticism related to her character’s use in the trailer, Feig asked Jones not to leave, calling her “a goddess & one of the warmest funniest forces of nature I know.” He ended his tweet saying “F*** the haters.”
Feig then followed that comment up with one directed at the would-be social media assassins, saying attacks directed toward him are one thing, but for those uninterested in the film, or offended by its existence for some reason, attacking members of the cast is going too far.
And haters, attack me all you want but when you attack and insult my cast, you've crossed the line. Grow up and leave my cast alone.— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) March 8, 2016
Whatever one thinks of Feig’s Ghostbusters or its accompanying trailer, sticking up for one’s collaborators is certainly an attribute to be commended. On the other hand, there’s an old saying on the Internet about not feeding trolls that seems to apply here. Feig’s comments aren’t likely to do much besides further incite the fury of social media folk. The remedy to heated scorn is rarely to throw another log on the fire. When faced with online harassment, the sad truth is that fighting fire with fire usually just leads to a flame war, and further discomfort for all parties involved.
Then again, it’s possible all the criticism he’s endured up to this point has simply caused Feig to stop caring what those who would insult him and the members of this film think. At the end of the day, whether one is a fan of Feig or not, the man’s movies make money. Despite a vocal objection to the existence of this new Ghostbusters, Feig’s output resonates with a large segment of the viewing public. Bridesmaids, The Heat, and Spy — all featuring Feig’s apparent creative muse Melissa McCarthy — have been hits at the box office, and there’s honestly no reason yet to expect Ghostbusters not to do the same.
It’s difficult to think a strong box office will silence those who would sling vitriol at Feig or his cast via social media — especially without having actually seen the film — but it might demonstrate that, despite the film’s detractors, Feig, McCarthy, Wiig, McKinnon, and Jones know what they’re doing when it comes to comedy.
Ghostbusters hits U.S. theaters on July 15, 2016.
Source: Paul Feig