‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot: A Timeline of Sexist, Vitriolic Hate (Photos)
The journey of the all-female “Ghostbusters” has been filled with YouTube dislikes, angry tweets, and endorsements from original cast
Jeremy Fuster | August 24, 2016 @ 11:24 AM
Last Updated: August 24, 2016 @ 11:29 AM
After months of vitriol, the new "Ghostbusters" film is finally arriving in theaters this week. Ideas for a third installment in the legendary '80s franchise were bandied about for many years, but to the surprise of many -- and the anger of some -- Columbia Pictures settled on a reboot with an all-female team. TheWrap looks back at the turbulent return of cinema's most famous parapsychologist agency.
March 2014 -- Following the death of original "Ghostbusters" cast member Harold Ramis, director Ivan Reitman bows out of his plans to direct a third film in the franchise. Plans for a "Ghostbusters 3" had long been held up by Bill Murray, who kept declining offers to return.
August 2014 -- Reports surface that "Bridesmaids" director Paul Feig entered talks with Sony Pictures to replace Reitman, and that "Ghostbusters" would be rebooted with an all-female cast, with Reitman as producer. Both the reboot and Feig's signing are confirmed two months later, with the cast change immediately receiving condemnations on Twitter from people who apparently think women can't hunt ghosts.
March 2015 -- Reports attach Channing Tatum and "Captain America" directors Joe and Anthony Russo to another "Ghostbusters" project with an all-male cast. Reitman denies the reports, saying Feig's project is the only "Ghostbusters" film moving forward.
June 2015 -- "Thor" star Chris Hemsworth joins the cast as the Ghostbusters' secretary, Kevin. The role is a parallel to Janine Melnitz, the receptionist played by Annie Potts in the original film.
July-September 2015 -- Shooting for "Ghostbusters" takes place in Massachusetts and New York. Paul Feig tweets a photo of the redesigned Ecto-1, the Ghostbusters' legendary car.
Tufts Medical Center/Facebook
August 2015 -- During filming, the main cast pays a visit to Tufts Medical Center in full costume. A Facebook post from the hospital with photos of the visit is filled with comments attacking the film and its cast, causing Tufts to post an additional post with a reminder that "any comments with profanity would be deleted."
March 3, 2016 -- The first "Ghostbusters" trailer debuts on YouTube. As of this writing, the trailer has over 900,000 dislikes on YouTube, making it the most disliked movie trailer in YouTube history.
Outside of social media, the trailer is also criticized for Leslie Jones' character, Patty Tolan, who worked as an MTA worker before joining the Ghostbusters, while the other women have scientific backgrounds. A Fusion article calls Patty's presence in the trailer a "minstrel show." Jones replies in a series of tweets: "I'm playing a hardworking woman.The regular one that rep the people. ... You guys are the racists by labeling her a lowly MTA worker."
April 27 -- Sony releases a featurette focusing on Hemsworth's character. It receives 2,000 likes and over 4,000 dislikes on YouTube, with comments decrying the film for portraying the male receptionist as a stereotypical dumb but attractive blonde.
May 16 -- YouTuber James Rolfe, who did several "Ghostbusters" retrospectives for his website, CineMassacre, releases a vlog explaining why he will not be seeing or reviewing the new film. The vlog gets media attention and becomes the subject of jokes on Twitter.
Among those who joked about Rolfe's video was comedian Patton Oswalt, who tweeted, "I really wanted to hate this Cinemassacre GHOSTBUSTERS review but I'm such a fan of noisy, thick-saliva swallowing it won my heart." In response, Oswalt received tweets mocking the death of his wife, Michelle McNamara, who passed away a few weeks prior.
May 28 -- In an interview with The Guardian, Melissa McCarthy responds to the film's backlash: “All those comments – ‘You’re ruining my childhood!’ I mean, really,” she said. “Four women doing any movie on earth will destroy your childhood? I have a visual of those people… not having friends, so they’re just sitting there and spewing hate into this fake world of the internet. I just hope they find a friend.”
May 30 -- Original Ghostbuster Dan Aykroyd endorses the film on his WhoSay page after viewing a test screening: "Apart from brilliant, genuine performances from the cast both female and male, it has more laughs and more scares than the first 2 films plus Bill Murray is in it! As one of millions of man-fans and Ray Stantz, I’m paying to see that and bringing all my friends!”
June 8 -- The casts of the original and new "Ghostbusters" appear together on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." When asked why he chose to be a part of the reboot after holding out on returning to "Ghostbusters" for so long, Murray said, "It was only because I knew these girls were funny."
July 7 -- McCarthy and Wiig reveal that during filming, a scene in which the Ghostbusters release a video to YouTube was ad-libbed to mock the vitriol the film had received since its inception. “I feel like the part was in [the script] already,” Wiig told Yahoo. "But we changed what was said.”
July 9 -- "Ghostbusters" holds its world premiere at the Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. The film scores 73% on RottenTomatoes, with TheWrap's Robert Abele praising the cast for its comedic delivery while criticizing the film's CGI-heavy third act.
July 18 -- In the days following the film's release, Jones began receiving racist abuse on Twitter, including pictures of apes. "I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart," Jones wrote. "All this cause I did a movie."
A day later, Twitter bans Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos for terms of service violations. Yiannopoulos was accused of posting tweets that encouraged harassment against Jones, including screenshots of tweets falsely attributed to the actress.
July 22 -- Following Yiannopoulous' ban, Jones returns to Twitter and discusses her harassment on "Late Night With Seth Meyers." “What’s scary about the whole thing is that the insults didn’t hurt me. Unfortunately I’m used to the insults. That’s unfortunate,” she told Meyers. “But what scared me was the injustice of a gang of people jumping against you for such a sick cause.”
August 24 -- Jones' personal website is hacked to display personal information, including her drivers' license and passport, as well as explicit photos of her and a picture of Harambe, the gorilla that was put down at the Cincinnati Zoo earlier this summer.