From the moment it was announced that the Ghostbusters reboot would star four actresses in the lead roles, the film was met with scorn and hate from a very vocal minority on the Internet. That noise grew louder after the film’s trailer was released in March, with many male critics hammering on stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon, and their director, Paul Feig, without even having seen the finished product. As part of our latest cover story, EW asked the women their thoughts on the sexist attacks.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s talk about the backlash to an all-female Ghostbusters. When the first trailer debuted in March, Twitter blew up with accusations, mostly from men, that you were ruining a beloved franchise.
McCARTHY: I just thought, “Really? Are we still there?” First of all, they are fictitious characters, [and] so are the original. So to get into, “Well that can’t be?” Well, the first ones weren’t real either. t’s a movie. I can’t make heads or tails of it, and then I never gave it another thought. You just have to go, “Well, I hope you get out a little more. The world is fun.” I really think it’s the minority.
Leslie, what about all the online harassment you received after the first trailer came out, when you tried defending the film against charges that you and the film played into racist stereotypes. It got so bad you threatened to quit Twitter over it.
JONES: Oh yeah, I got a picture of a guy shooting a black woman in the head. I thought, “Okay, I’m going to take a break from going on there. These are crazy people.” It was time to start using silence as a weapon. I’m starting to learn that it’s more deadly than saying anything. When people started asking me about the gender stuff, I would say, “It’s not a man thing, it’s not a woman thing. It’s a Ghostbuster thing.” That’s all I’ve got to say.
Was it scary?
JONES: Nah, [because] I’m not ever scared.
McKINNON: That’s Leslie Jones, ladies and gentlemen.
JONES: I’m not saying I don’t have fear but this wasn’t real. And the real fact is if those people were in my face, they wouldn’t say any of it. They’d be like, “Leslie Jones, How you doing?” When the movie comes out, it’s going to shut everybody up.