How The Ghostbusters Film Is Marketing Misogyny

June 5, 2016 0 Comments

I just got a chance to witness the latest Ghostbusters trailer released on the internet. Interestingly enough, there wasn’t a massive backlash over the second trailer as there was for the first trailer. I’m sure this had little to do with the improvements made in the newest Ghostbusters trailer (for lack of a better term), rather than the permanent imprinting of all the dysfunctionalities in the first trailer.

However, in my own personal opinion, the second trailer isn’t really much better than the first.

I think the problem with the second trailer suffers from the exact same problems with the first trailer. If you want to review an entire list of issues, you can read the last entry on the subject (it’s a long one). However, if you pay attention to the trailer, I think you’ll notice a couple of things.

Where Did This Trailer Come From?

Where exactly did this trailer come from? The first trailer came from the official Sony Picture Entertainment Youtube Channel; however, the second trailer was nowhere to be found on their channel. Instead, I got it from the MovieClips Trailers Youtube Channel. Due to the high level of criticism from the first Ghostbusters trailer, Sony Studios (wisely) decided not to upload the second trailer on their youtube channel.

So, where did MovieClips get the official trailer? You can actually view the new official trailer on the IMDb website as well as the official Facebook page for Ghostbusters. I must say, this is actually very smart. The public can’t actually give content they dislike a down vote or thumbs down, despite our best attempts to advocate for such a feature.

Marketing Misogyny

I’ve already talked about how the latest Ghostbusters trailer has created the largest movie scandal since ‘The Interview;’ anyone who dares to judge the film on its own merit is immediately labeled as a misogynist or a sexist. What I didn’t mention was another scandal perpetuated by Sony Entertainment, where Sony has been on a deleting spree on the Ghostbusters trailer.

Normally, this wouldn’t be considered a big issue, as Sony has the right to do whatever they want on their channels. However, according to some critics, Sony Pictures has been deleting comments critical of the trailer. This is strange, because if you were to view the trailer right now, you would see negative comments: the misogynist and sexist comments. It’s almost as if Sony decided to delete the more rational comments while leaving the sexist comments, thus creating a marketing ploy of epic proportions.

So the marketing ploy: producers are masking their failures under accusations of misogyny. If something is poorly produced, written, or performed and it has anything to do with women, assert that anything critical of the final product is the result of sexism. Of course, people will have their ignorant opinions, and that is all it will ever be: an opinion. However, the sentiment against this film is so strong it could encourage viewers to watch when they otherwise wouldn’t.

We’ve seen this happen before with films like ‘The Interview,’ which was not a good film by any means. However, Americans decided to see the film in solidarity, sending a message to the Sony Cyber-Hackers that no one will tell us what we can or cannot see. The same cannot be said for Ghostbusters; although you may not want to see the film, you may be guilt-tripped into seeing it either as a feminist sympathizer or someone who wants to defray accusations of sexism.

From the Hollywood Reporter:

Who you gonna call? If you hate that the upcoming ‘Ghostbusters’ movie has an all-female main cast, it better not be film’s director, Paul Feig. Paul said that fans that think the Ghostbusters can’t be women are full of ‘pure misogyny.’

I don’t think anyone ever made the claim that women can’t be Ghostbusters, too. Although, arguing against complete straw men is much easier than the director actually dealing with the reality that he made a bad film. Of course, we don’t know if the movie is going to be bad or good; however, the only way people will find out if they’ve decided to be pressured into seeing it (or having an open mind).

Judd Apatow said this gem:

I would assume there’s a very large crossover of people who are doubtful Ghostbusters will be great and people excited about the Donald Trump candidacy. I would assume they are the exact same people. That movie is made by the great Paul Feig and stars the funniest people on Earth, so I couldn’t be more excited. I think people have paid too much attention to just some angry trolls. And it will be judged on its own greatness.

What a brilliant observation: the people who have expressed their distaste of the movie actively go to Trump rallies on their free time. I don’t know why I didn’t see it before… Why hasn’t Judd filled the vacant Supreme Court Justice seat with his astute logic, research and reasoning skills?

I don’t think anything really matters the way you think it does. The movie comes out, and it will be great, and people will just be happy to have it. It’s not like anybody really cares about a couple of idiots who hold onto the idea that things never evolve. I always think, you know, we have our past and if you can come up with a new, cool way to do something, then that’s exciting and hopefully it will make a lot of people happy.

Ironically, his best argument is accusing proponents of this new Ghostbusters film of being Trump supporters. What Judd fails to realize is that the film hasn’t evolved in a “new and cool way.” Fig is simply recycling an old formula with new characters. The new trailer, while revealing more about the film for viewers to see, basically show a lot of similarities between the old Ghostbusters film and the new one.

I have also pointed out before that the film hasn’t even evolved in the most progressive manner. A true progressive film would have both men and women busting ghost side-by-side; something that is inherently missing in this newer rendition.

And finally, from the LA Times:

I fully expect that Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones will make me laugh — McKinnon and Jones are 80% of the reason I still watch “Saturday Night Live.” At the same time, I legitimately worry about what happens if the movie falls short of expectations. This isn’t just about box office numbers, but about optics. When a big-budget movie starring men does poorly, it’s just another dud that’s shrugged off. When one made by or starring women doesn’t live up to the hype, it becomes a referendum on women as artists and filmgoers.

I really don’t know what this person was on when this was written, but this is the biggest false equivalency I’ve ever seen. The reason being: this isn’t just any big-budget movie; this is Ghostbusters. The world didn’t really care when Annie flopped, or Jupiter Ascending for that matter. Also, these films can’t exactly be held to the same standard as Ghostbusters, which is considered an all-time classic.

If a director took a character that was traditionally played by a woman, such as Dorothy Gale from ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ and replaced her with a male, the blacklist would be justified if it’s warranted. But again, no one is ever interested in comparing apples with apples.

Andi then goes on to say:

The production’s profile was buoyed — for better or worse — by a vocal sect of nerd purists outraged that their childhood memories of Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd stand to be tainted by girls donning proton packs. One made an entire video manifesto about why he refuses to see the movie. Others have been less wordy but equally aggrieved across social media with comments like: “Now they wanna ruin Ghostbusters with women?” “What FemiNazi bought GhostBusters’s [sic] rights?”

I find it very interesting how the author doesn’t even reference James Rolfe by name. As for the other comments, I have no idea what she is talking about. She’s probably referencing the few negative comments that are left on the first Ghostbusters trailer.

Two generations later, the pattern is unchanged for women. Year after year, studios’ excuses range from lazily reductive to explicitly sexist: Women can’t direct action movies! Women can’t direct movies! Women don’t want to direct movies! Do women even go to the movies?
Those of us outside the industry but with a filmgoer’s stake in making sure the medium is rich, and evolving and representative — yes, we’ll be buying tickets to “Ghostbusters” and wondering why Hollywood still seems genuinely flummoxed by the prospect of reaching more than half the population.

If only this author were as correct about the issue at hand as she was dedicated. And while some people are perfectly fine with lying to themselves just to send a message, I don’t really see what good that does here. There is a huge difference between making a believable film with relatable female leads and making a film just for a cheap cash grab.

Women are at a disadvantage when it comes to the entertainment industry; whether or not it has to do with discrimination has yet to be determined (the economics certainly doesn’t support such a notion). However, most people are not compelled to spend $16 dollars for a ticket just so a movie “doesn’t flop.” The only thing Zeisler is right about is with a film like this, if it flops, it will be touted as a memorial to just how bad women-lead movies are, but for all the wrong reasons.

This is because the only people who are defending this film are the only ones making this about gender; to the point of where seeing this film has become a political weapon. Progressives and Feminist will go out of their way to see the film just so they can virtue-signal to the internet just how “not sexist” they are. The rest of us rational thinking will only go out of pure skepticism; some out of curiosity, some for legitimate critical purposes.

I hope that the new Ghostbusters film exceeds my expectations; at the moment, my expectations are very low, and I don’t feel like wasting $23 for the IMAX version. No one has the obligation to see a terrible film simply because it stars women. We have now gotten to the point where people aim to prove how moral they are, even at their own detriment, being exploited by the media.

We have reached a point where morality is for sale at the expense of your freedom of expression and conducting voluntary transactions in the marketplace. Most of us believe that women are capable of being strong, powerful actors, but nothing is more damaging to individuals than an industry surviving on artificial numbers.

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