It’s been five years since the release of the 2016 reboot of “Ghostbusters” in which an all-female cast comprised of Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon suited up and declared they weren’t afraid of no ghosts.
The release of the film, however, was marred by sexist and misogynistic backlash on social media, decrying the idea of recasting the original male Ghostbusters as women.
Looking back, McCarthy admitted she still doesn’t understand why the film was targeted with hatred in certain quarters of the internet.
“There’s no end to stories we can tell, and there’s so many reboots and relaunches and different interpretations, and to say any of them are wrong, I just don’t get it,” McCarthy said in an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment.
“I don’t get the fight to see who can be the most negative and the most hate-filled,” she added. “Everybody should be able to tell the story they want to tell. If you don’t want to see it, you don’t have to see it.”
Interestingly enough, McCarthy’s latest project, “The Starling”, also has a gender-flipping history.
In the new HBO film, McCarthy plays a woman who forms an unusual relationship with a bird in her garden while wracked with grief over the death of her daughter, while her husband (Chris Dowd) wound up becoming institutionalized.
“This one was a wonderful switch,” added McCarthy, crediting director Ted Melfi with suggesting to flip the genders (in the original script, the protagonist is male while his wife was the one istitutionalized.
“This was Ted’s idea. He said when he read it, he was raised by a single mother, he was like, ‘I didn’t buy the woman falling apart.’ In his life, it’s always been the females that have kind of kept it together and kept trudging,” she explained. “I also think a man could be vulnerable and broken in a way that we’ve not traditionally seen.”
“The Starling” premieres Sept. 24 on Netflix.