I don't write blogs often enough, and when I do they are Art related, but after seeing the new Ghost Busters film last night I feel compelled to write a blog about why I think the new film is racist.
I decided to search online first to see if anyone else agreed with me and surprisingly the film has had very mixed reviews. It seems there are many who agree and are offended by the racial stereotyping.
All the reviews I read focused on the role of Leslie Jones's character Patty Tolan, who is the African American of the group and is the only woman who is not a scientist and is only allowed to join their group because she has a car and she 'knows' New York. There are no Asians, or Latinos in the film whatsoever, except the delivery guy (which i will come to later!), not even in minor roles. Apart from Leslie Jones's character, a cameo role played by Ernie Hudson from the original film, it is an ALL white cast.
It wasn't just the character of Patty Tolan that disturbed me, before she even made it onto the screen I could see there was an undertone of racism in the film from Melissa McCarthy's character Abby Yates and the Chinese delivery guy, Karan Soni. Anyone can tell from that name that he isn't in fact Chinese, he is Indian. Whether that was deliberate or they couldn't find a Chinese actor to play the role, I don't know. His role is fitted to the stupid illiterate Indian delivery boy, which I found extremely offensive and disgusting and very typical of American stereotyping.
On top of that Melissa's character Abby had to continuously complain about the lack of won tons in her soup, giving the impression in her blaring comments that perhaps Chinese are dumb or can't cook, although not delivering those words literally. Most people didn't laugh at those jokes in the cinema and the Asian guy next to me certainly didn't. I really felt sorry for him throughout the film and wondered how he felt when the film repeatedly made fun of Asians.
To make things worse, our own, Australian actor Chris Hemsworth plays the role of yet another stereotype dumb blonde and handsome Australian guy 'Kevin'. Although I did find his character funny, at the same time it was sad that Australians are still viewed that way.
When I decided to go and see this film, I was excited about the all female cast. A remake of one of the most enjoyable films when I was younger. When the original films came out I guess I was too young to understand the politics of the films. This time I was appalled to find that the creators of this film clearly have a racist agenda, whether they know that or not, like many people in this world, they don't even realize they are, because they have been conditioned that way by their own societies. I am saddened that they, the creators of Ghost Busters would use a film to express those agendas.
The last thing that I found offensive about the film was in the credits when they showed an overweight police officer (who was African American) dancing in a silly way.
So, what's wrong with that? Everyone in the cinema laughed at him. It's 2016 in case you hadn't realized, it's intolerable to make fun of obese people. Obesity is a disease, it causes depression, poverty, family breakdowns, suicides and death. It isn't something to make fun of and it isn't funny, at all.
I wouldn't see the film again, and apart from the racism, the story line is shallow, they could have made this film really smart, but they didn't, and many of the jokes are just immature.