Film Forward

This 'Ghostbusters' Premiere Photo Sums Up Why Representation Matters

That sparkle in her eye!

Remakes of Hollywood cult classics are always a risky venture, so it's no surprise that the new Ghostbusters had received a ton of criticism before it even hit theaters. 

One of the issues that drew the most ire from diehard fans was that the main ghost-busting characters would be taken over by a quartet of eminently funny women: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon. The common complaint was that the reboot would inexplicably ruin people's childhoods.

"Embedded in all of these preemptive and logically flimsy complaints is an obvious subtext," David Sims wrote in The Atlantic, "that the idea of a female cast taking up the mantle of a very male film series is just somehow wrong."

Director and co-writer Paul Feig did well to tackle head on the premature criticism of the film since the reboot was announced. And although reviews have been mixed since its release, one photo from the red carpet premiere served as a validation of sorts for the all-female cast.


Shared by comedian Zach Heltzel on Twitter, the photo captured the expressions of two girls that sums up perfectly why representation and diversity in Hollywood was so important.

The photo was widely shared and received largely positive, enthusiastic responses. Twitter users seized the opportunity to talk about representation and diversity in the industry, an issue that Hollywood has made efforts to address following the controversy surrounding the Oscars earlier this year. 

"I think people have reacted so enthusiastically to the photo because it puts all the controversy around the movie into perspective. Representation matters," Heltzel told A Plus in an email. "Movies like Ghostbusters, both the original and the new one, exist to inspire joy and wonder, and it's easy to forget that in our snarky internet discourse."

Heltzel himself has not seen the new Ghostbusters, but noted that he's looking forward to it. "I have no reason to think I won't enjoy it," he said.


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