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Paul Feig commencement speech USC School of Cinematic Arts offers advice to college grads

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Jennifer Lourie/Getty Images

Ghostbusters and The Heat director Paul Feig has one major piece of advice for this year’s graduating class from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts: “Don’t be an a–hole.” 

During his commencement speech this weekend, he said, “You want to make something great, but be cool while you’re doing it so people will hire you again. Because if you screw up and you’re an a–hole, they won’t hire you again. But if you’re nice and you screw up, then they’re like, ‘Let’s give him another shot.’ It will buy you one free pass.” 

After advising the graduates to “love your actors,” Feig added, “love the audience.” He said, “There are no stupid people liking stupid things. People like what they like. Just try to entertain them.” 

The filmmaker has his own experience dealing with harsh movie fans, especially when it comes to Ghostbusters. “I just don’t understand why it’s ever an issue anymore,” he told EW regarding the backlash to a female-led reboot. “I’ve promoted both Bridesmaids and The Heat and myself and my cast are still hit constantly with the question, ‘Will this answer the question of whether women can be funny?’ I really cannot believe we’re still having this conversation.”

In a recent response to comments he made concerning the “a–holes” within the geek community, Feig wrote, in part, “The bullies are not the norm and I would dare say they are not even true geeks. They are the micro minority. God bless the true geeks of the world and here’s to taking our community back from the bullies.” 

Watch video of Feig’s commencement speech above from The Wrap.