So the official trailer for the remake of Ghostbusters has hit the internet.
And I am pissed-off.
I fully understand this is a reboot of the original Ghostbusters and the new characters somewhat mirror their male counterparts from 1984, but in the original, when Ernie Hudson’s character Winston joins the group he comes in -more or less- as an equal partner to the three scientists. So what happened to Leslie Jones’ character Patty in this remake? As depicted in this trailer, I don’t see it. It’s looks more like they, the three white scientists, are the brains and she is the loud mouth brawn.
It is 2016 and the trope of the smart white guys and their “street-wise” black partner is just plain OLD. Gender swapping does not make it less noticeable. The –you three got all your degrees, but I got a Cadillac, I know NYC and I will slap the ghost out of you! – scenes of Patty, as shown in the trailer, play so heavily on the Loud/Streetwise Black Woman stereotypes that it is a neck roll and three finger snap in a Z formation away from looking racist.
It is bad enough that women of color are under represented in movies as is. When we do appear it is often as some stereotype. And after so many years of movie going it is so frustrating to see again and again and yet again. Would it really have been so far out of the movie going mindset that Leslie Jones portray one of the scientists and let’s say Kate McKinnon portray the streetwise one?
Maybe Patty will come off more as an equal in the overall arc of the movie, I really hope so, because the trailer clearly missed the mark in portraying such.
At least this iteration of Ghostbusters will pass the Bechdel Test.