When Melissa McCarthy signed on for the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters, she had no idea what kind of ridiculous backlash awaited her. As someone who doesn’t use email and avoids social media, the Oscar-nominated actress was unprepared for the virulent opposition to the female-centric film from a certain all-male sector of the internet. Two years later, she’s still baffled by it. Speaking to Yahoo Entertainment while promoting her drama Can You Ever Forgive Me?, McCarthy looked back on the strange campaign to sink Ghostbusters.
“I just don’t know why people are so afraid of women. It’s fascinating to me,” McCarthy told Yahoo Entertainment. (Watch the interview above.)
There’s one criticism in particular that she still can’t wrap her head around. “If a movie 35 years later is ‘ruining your childhood,’ don’t blame us — you’ve got your own issues,” she joked.
Director Paul Feig has said that Ghostbusters suffered at the box office in part because the trolling turned it into “a cause,” creating unnecessary baggage for what was meant to be a fun, goofy summer movie. But while the supernatural comedy didn’t make as much as Sony hoped, it wasn’t exactly the flop that many outlets reported: Ghostbusters had the biggest opening weekend of any McCarthy film and remains the fourth-highest-grossing film of her career. Were it not for its preposterous effects budget, the film would have easily cleared a profit. Nor did it kill the all-female ensemble remake: This year’s Ocean’s 8 was a sizable hit. At the end of the day, McCarthy came out of the debacle even more determined to make her own way in Hollywood.
“As the mom of two daughters, I just always say, ‘There you go. Be you. Don’t back down,’” she said.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? is now playing in theaters.
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