Ghostbusters reboot director Paul Feig opened up in a brand new interview where he compared the film to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign declaring both were caught in a misogynistic “vortex.”
He explains in an interview with The Telegraph, ““I have been dying for somebody to look at Hillary Clinton’s campaign and us, because we were caught in the exact same vortex.”
Ghostbusters was a complete and utter bomb at the box office just bringing in $229 million on a $144 million budget. A rule of thumb is that films usually need to make double their production budget in order to be profitable.
Not only did the film not bring people to the theaters, but those who did see it, didn’t think too highly of it. The film received an audience score of 51% on Rotten Tomatoes despite a much better critic score of 74%.
Even Dan Akryod, the co-writer and one of the stars of the original Ghostbusters, had strong criticism of Feig’s reboot.
“The director, he spent too much on it and he didn’t shoot scenes we suggested to him. Several scenes that were going to be needed, he said, ‘No, we don’t need them.’ And then we tested the movie and they needed them, and he had to go back — about $30 to $40 million in reshoots.”
During production of the film, Feig would discuss the criticism he received for rebooting Ghostbusters with an all female cast:
“The Internet is really funny—I love it, but I hate it at the same time. The first wave when you make an announcement like that is overwhelmingly positive. Everyone’s so happy and you’re like, ‘This is great.’ Then comes the second wave and you’re like, ‘Oh my God.’ Some of the most vile, misogynistic s–t I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Speaking with The Telegraph, two years after the film bombed, the movie maker would double down on his accusations of misogyny surrounding Ghostbosters. He specifically puts blame on then candidate Donald Trump and the 2016 election:
“It ignited these passions that were already around because Trump was stirring them up. I think these guys felt they were losing control.”
Feig even credits the 2016 election for exposing Harvey Weinstein and the rise of the #MeToo movement:
“Because the misogyny out there was in everybody’s face. It was this boiling cauldron of so many contributing factors that made women go ‘Enough,’ thank God.”
Despite his accusations of misogyny, Feig says he receives a lot of praise for the film. In fact, he says he receives more praise than he does “mean things”:
“It was shocking. I still think about it a lot, honestly — sometimes I’m like, ‘OK, stop thinking about it.’ Because I’m really proud of the movie, and while people still send me mean things, overwhelmingly more people tell me they love it. Parents and their children, women in their 20s and 30s who were inspired to go into science, or are in love with Kate McKinnon. But I definitely felt like we were the icebreaker going through the Arctic. People weren’t yet used to the idea that this could happen.”
It’s understandable to be upset when you put your blood sweat and tears into a project, and it doesn’t turn out well. It’s easy to insulate yourself into a bubble. And more often than not, people will use those bubbles to block out any valid criticisms of their work while lashing out at them because they feel that those criticisms are attacks on their person, not their work.
Feig’s tone deafness and doubling down on complaints of misogyny reminds of this Skinner meme from The Simpsons.
It doesn’t seem that the lesson has hit home for Mr. Feig. There is no doubt that he can create good pieces of film and television. Freaks and Geeks, as well as Bridesmaids, are but two examples. But at this stage, it doesn’t seem to have dawned on him that he might have simply just struck out with Ghostbusters. Instead of taking the criticism and admitting he made mistakes like Suicide Squad director David Ayer, Paul Feig has blamed his failure on “misogyny.”
Does Paul Feig have a point? Or are his comparisons with the Clinton campaign just an odd way of deflecting failure?