Last year, a catastrophic event occurred that tore the nation apart by the seams. Where people stood on this issue meant everything. Friends became enemies, families were broken, and our relations with one another may have been damaged beyond repair.
I am of course talking about...The Ghostbusters reboot.
Yes, in a year where we laid witness to the ugliest Presidential Election in our lifetime, the new Ghostbusters movie managed to be even more divisive. The reactions leading up to this movie, from both sides, were so strong that you can't help but look back and laugh at how pointless it was when you look at the final product.
But first, let's start our journey by looking at the birth of this "controversial" movie.
In 2014, Harold Ramis (who played Egon in the original movies) passed away, effectively destroying any chance of there being a true Ghostbusters 3. Eventually, Sony decided to reboot the franchise with a new, female cast. Overtime, the film found its stars in Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones. For a while, buzz on the reboot was relatively quite. Sure, it was mentioned from time to time, but it wasn't really discussed that much.
And then, the first trailer hit.
The amount of hatred the trailer got is legendary. With over a million dislikes on YouTube, it is arguably the most hated trailer in modern movie history. The amount of hatred this trailer got turned what seemed to be an ordinary new addition to a popular franchise into a war unlike anything the internet has seen before (unless you count #GamerGate). On one side, you had those who passionately defended the film, while the other side passionately hating the film.
The "hater" side of this conflict is actually quite interesting. You can literary divide this collation into three distinct groups. First, you got those who simply thought the movie didn't look good. In all the fairness, the trailer wasn't funny and the effects looked poor, making this group arguably the most level headed people in this entire debacle. Secondly, you got the people who hate remakes. These are the people who are immediately dismissive of any remake of a popular movie or franchise. While Ghostbusters isn't really an "untouchable film" like Citizen Kane or The Godfather, it is understandable why these people would be worried about a less than stellar remake of something that was a huge part of their childhoods.
While these two sections made up most of the opposition side, they (like every other group in the world) were over shadowed by the extreme minority. Which brings us to the third section: the sexist man-babies.
While this group has always lingered around the darkest corners of the internet, their first sign of mainstream relevance came in 2015. This year saw the release of two popular movies, Mad Max: Fury Road and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Both of these films, much like the new Ghostbusters, featured female characters being given more prominent roles in franchises traditionally dominated by men. There was a backlash against these films by this section, but it was easily brushed off as both films were highly successful. With Ghostbusters however, they smelt blood in the water. The mixture of an already high disapproval rating and a political revolution against "PC culture" made Ghostbusters the perfect target. However, these people did more than just bash the movie. Leslie Jones received countless disgusting messages thrown her way on Twitter. These messages ranged from racist comments to flat out threats. It wasn't the first time these people used bigoted lingo to voice their disdain for the movie, but it sure was the most prominent.
The actions of this third section ruined the credibility of the other two sections of the "hater" side by association. It also gave birth to other side of this debate (which only has one section), the "Social Justice Warriors." These are the people who accused anyone that disapproved of the movie of being misogynistic. It would be one thing if they were going after the people who were being sexist jerks, but they went after everyone and anything that opposed the movie. Before you knew, the talk about this movie became yet another unnecessary battleground in the "culture wars."
This debate surrounding this movie lingered until it finally premiered. After months of debating and fighting, the film was...
It didn't deserve the intense levels of hatred it got, but it didn't deserve the intense levels of defense it got either. When it was all said and done, no one looked good coming out of this. What should have been a straight forward movie discussion, became yet another topic for politics to ruin. You would think that after this train wreck, people would think twice about starting a battle over gender in pop culture franchise. But (unfortunately), since the announcement of a female Dr. Who has started this B.S. again, this problem is likely here to stay.
There is one thing we can all agree on however: the Fallout Boy cover of the Ghostbusters theme song absolutely sucks.