Ghostbusters director Paul Feig has fired back at “misogynistic” critics of his upcoming all-female-led remake, telling a film industry panel over the weekend that he has faced an “onslaught” of hate mail and negative messages since the project was announced two years ago.
During a panel discussion on diversity in film at the 8th annual PGA Produced By conference in Los Angeles, the 53-year-old writer-producer-director lamented that his upcoming Ghostbusters remake is constantly referred to as “all-female.”
“It was my idea to do it all-female,” Feig said, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “I wanted to do an origin story and I thought the best way to do it was by doing it with the funniest women I know.”
The trailer for the updated Ghostbusters was uploaded to YouTube in March and quickly earned the dubious honor of being the most-disliked film trailer in the video-sharing website’s history. The film stars Melissa McCarthy and Saturday Night Live alumni Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones as the titular ghost-hunters.
“[I have been] hit with some of the worst misogynistic stuff in the last two years,” Feig said of the backlash against the film, according to Deadline. The director compared reading the hate mail he’s received to “someone coming from a liberal family and hearing right-wing radio for the first time. It’s like, my God, what’s happened? They’re monsters.”
“The fact that there are people who take any type of umbrage with [the movie] is mind-boggling to me,” fellow panelist and The Help Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer added.
Feig has said previously that the negative online reaction to the film’s trailer stems from a “very small minority” of “bullies” in the geek community who “write misogyny and hate and threats.”
“The geek world has been a haven for so many of us and we should all refuse to let these bullies hijack the conversations and debates we all love to engage in, nor should we let them represent our community and culture to the rest of the world,” the director wrote in May. “The bullies are not the norm and I would dare say they are not even true geeks. They are the micro minority.”
As Breitbart News previously reported, the backlash against the film has prompted a number of progressive-leaning media outlets to publish articles condemning all criticism of the new Ghostbusters films as misogynistic and hateful. Critics contend that they don’t believe the film looks particularly good.
In an interview with Uproxx earlier this month, previous Feig collaborator Judd Apatow said that the film’s early critics share ideological similarities with a certain GOP presidential candidate.
“I would assume there’s a very large crossover of people who are doubtful Ghostbusters will be great and people excited about the Donald Trump candidacy. I would assume they are the exact same people,” Apatow told the outlet. “That movie is made by the great Paul Feig and stars the funniest people on Earth, so I couldn’t be more excited.”
Ghostbusters is in theaters July 15.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum