entertainment

The real reason there are no men in the new Ghostbusters sequel.

Ghostbusters remake features the funniest people around. They just happen to be women. 

Last week Paul Feig, the director of the new Ghostbusters remake (and Bridesmaids, The Heat and Spy), received a tweet from a man claiming the only reason someone would make an all-female version of the classic movie was “to appease the feminist types”.

Feig, a self-described feminist, responded: “Unless it was to feature the funniest people I know, male or female. Which is what the original did. #enough”.

And it’s true. All the best comedians at the moment are women (which is a total shock considering the number of times we’ve heard women aren’t funny).

It doesn’t mean all women are funnier than all men. Just that chicks in comedy land are totally killing it at the moment. Once upon a time – say the 90s – all the top comedians were men – think Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Ramone, Steve Martin, David Spade etc. Some of them even had their own TV shows. But your Adam Sandlers and your Ben Stillers have had their day.

Now, the moment my mind turns to comedy, images of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Sarah Silverman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mindy Kaling, Miranda Hart, Rebel Wilson and Ellie Kemper flash through my brain. Not a man in sight.

Of course, there are plenty of great male comedians. Many of these hilarious women honed their craft at the same institutions as their male counterparts. Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mike Myers, Stephen Colbert, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Bill Murray and Amy Poehler are all alumni of Chicago improv troupe The Second City. Jack Black, Will Ferrell, Kathy Griffin, Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig got their starts at LA’s The Groundlings. Many of them worked together writing and performing in sketches for Saturday Night Live, which became an important platform for the world to discover the amazing talent of female comedians.

There just seems to finally be a widespread acknowledgement that female audiences are interested in funny content beyond the banal having-sex-with-a-pie gags, fart jokes and dick puns. Many of the female-led comedies of recent times focus on the humour in everyday settings – in female friendships, in collegiate relationships, in being part of a bridal party (or an all-female choir). That shit is funny.

Who ya gonna call?

Despite the remarkable success of films like Bridesmaids, Pitch Perfect and Mean Girls, ingrained sexism in Hollywood doesn’t appear to be going anywhere fast.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen Rose McGowan get fired by her agent after calling out a sexist note in an Adam Sandler script, Amanda Seyfried reveals she was paid 10 per cent of her male co-star’s salary in a big-budget film, and former Disney CEO Michael Eisner tells Goldie Hawn during an interview on sexism that the most elusive star is a “beautiful, funny woman”. “By far. They usually – boy am I going to get in trouble, I know this goes online – but usually, unbelievably beautiful women, you being an exception, are not funny,” he said. Yep, blood boiling kind of stuff.

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And apparently some people men have had a big problem with the new ghostbusters having vaginas and ovaries. Surely a woman can’t catch a ghost when she’s on her period?

So, thankfully, Sony has decided to do ANOTHER Ghostbusters remake, starring men. Phew. Because a movie starring Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy (not to mention Chris Hemsworth, Andy Garcia and Saturday Night Live stars Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones) is sure to be a flop.

Dan Aykroyd, who co-wrote and starred in the original Ghostbusters, initially said he was pleased with the all-female line up for Ghostbusters 3 – a project he had been trying to get off the ground for years. But now he’s going to be heading up the second third sequel. He said the plan was to “get this one made… and then we’ll go on to maybe doing a more conventional third sequel as we were planning”. But don’t worry, the all-female movie is still going ahead. “I’ve got three daughters, so I’m all for female empowerment,” he reassured everyone. So, basically, once the girls are done playing, the big boys – rumoured to include Channing Tatum – will come and re-do the job. The better, “more conventional” way.

(Incidentally, Aykroyd tweeted this week that he was shooting a scene for the new movie, saying: “On GB set shooting my scene with funny beautiful Kristen Wiig Lady GB’s are adorable, hilarious and badass Exhilarating!” It was deleted shortly afterwards, either because his cameo was a secret, or because he described four grown women as “adorable”…)

Dan Aykroyd in the original movie.

It seems the comedy game IS changing, even if it’s not as quickly as we’d like. Amy Poehler, who did the media rounds in Australia recently while promoting the film Inside Out, told The Guardian she was optimistic about the new generation of young female artists with strong points of view.

“I do think the market now demands an alternative to the old white male experience. But look, here’s my stoner answer: I think the world is becoming more feminine, and there are a few dinosaurs raging at the end, and it causes extreme violence against women, it causes terrible political fires around the world. But I think everyone’s reacting to the universe becoming more feminine in order to save its life.”

But that’s the thing about dinosaurs. One day they will be extinct. And that day will be a very happy one.

Which Ghostbusters remake will you be seeing?

For more female funnies, try these articles:

5 reasons we desperately need to talk about the movie ‘Spy’.

6 reasons everyone loves Tina Fey.

Sarah Silverman’s obituary for her beloved dog will leave you in tears.

Three reasons why you need to know all about Amy Schumer right now.

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