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Why the new Ghostbusters movie caused so much controversy

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Ever since the late 80’s, Ghostbusters 3 was in development hell for a number of reasons. When the movie was just about to be filmed, cast member Bill Murray kept stalling the production due to his dissatisfaction with the script. When creator Dan Aykroyd refused to recast the role, the producers shifted their focus from a sequel to a reboot.

The movie was officially announced in August of 2014 with the intention to have an all female cast and the internet blew up. There were two arguments that were repeated over and over. If you wanted to see the film, you were betraying the original. If you didn't want to see it, you were a sexist. There was no in between. In fact many internet critics, like Andre Meadows, who did try to see the positive and the negatives in this movie, were criticized by both sides.

“Two sides attacking me for the same video with the same content! How?” Meadows said. “How did you do that, Internet?”

It is very interesting that no one would accept an in between. The question that needs to be asked is why so many people were being so hostile with a film that critics agree is just average?

The purist argument 

Multiple people who said that they weren’t going to see this movie because it ruins the spirit of the original ghostbusters usually fall under three categories. The first category is reboot hate. It isn’t any secret that the majority of popular films lately are reboots. Many of those reboots, like Transformers and Jem, use the name as a way of getting easy cash without effort to preserve the integrity of the original material.

After years of getting these kinds of movies, it would be safe to assume that the new Ghostbusters movie would follow that same formula. The first trailer didn’t help those fears as it felt like a cash grab.

The second category involves the disappearance of the original cast. One of the praises with the original film is a great cast, particularly Bill Murray. Richard Schickel, in his review for TIME, gave the impression that the movie was successful because of the cast.

So to see a film that has one of the reasons why the film worked gone, that would assume that the movie is going to suck and therefore would be a discredit to the Ghostbusters name.

The ‘watch it or you're a misogynist’ argument

The third category is the reason why people who support the reboot are using the gender card; the fact that the Ghostbusters are female. Most people who are saying this are accusing the film of gender washing.

The argument for the movie includes the fact that female Ghostbusters already existed in the IDW Comics and in the animated show. According to them this isn’t gender washing because anyone can be a Ghostbuster, not just men.

This pro-reboot argument apparently relates to the other two purists categories because in their minds, the only thing that was changed from the original was the gender of the cast. So why wouldn’t someone want to see this unless they are a misogynist? 

Why is this debate pointless?

The real reason why there is so much outrage over this film is because there is a form of miscommunication. Purists do not want to see a film that does not have the spirit of the original, which relates to the original cast, but because the only real change is the cast’s gender. Those who aren’t thinking in that regard are assuming that there is hatred towards women.

What is disappointing is that there were plans for a Ghostbusters with a predominantly male cast and rumors of multiple Ghostbuster films that would take place in different parts of the world. However, because this film bombed due to the internet outrage, that might not happen. So good job geekdom; you possibly killed the Ghostbusters franchise over nothing.