Now when I first heard there was a new Ghostbusters movie, I was hugely excited, when I heard it was being rebooted with an all female cast I had to take a seat for a moment, I thought yes!! Then I found out Melissa McArthy, Kristen Wiig and Sigourney Weaver were going to be in it, I had to sit down a moment, I love all three of them!!
Then the trailer hit and I immediately tweeted it!! I was that excited!! Then I watched it and as it progressed I became disappointed, I withdrew from the screen, one eyebrow raised thinking, WTF?
The woman in me wants to love this film, strong female leads, showing them in careers that the media doesn't usually celebrate us for and the film passes the Bechdel Test:-
It also features two very funny women and an older actress who isn't playing a mother; Great! I thought, but it wasn't to be so. The Woman of Colour in me, said WTF? There's all these intelligent funny, kickass characters in here and the one, the ONE, Black female character is a lazy, tired trope of the sassy Black woman with 'street smarts' - I mean I know the film is a 80's reboot, but haven't we moved on from the 80's, I mean it's no longer acceptable to slap women on the arse and call them sugar in the office, but clearly someone forgot to tell Hollywood… but then again America, Donald Trump is running for President and he's about as far from the 80's as December 31st 1979….
And then you remember that those holding the power and the money to make movies are old white men and the sycophants that try to woo them. I'm sure (to quote Chris Rock) one of them said "Does this character have to be a Black woman?" and the response was, "what if she's a no nonsense, sassy sidekick" and they all nodded in agreement while they ticked the diversity box and patted each other on the back.
I mean why couldn't Leslie Jones' character have been a scientist too and one of the others the sassy one with street smarts? Why can you reboot the film and have enough imagination to re-cast the lead roles as female, but not that one of the scientists could be Black woman? Aren't white women capable of being 'street smart' and sassy too? Isn't there a smart, educated, charming Black woman in the White House, isn't she the First Lady or something? Your focus doesn't have to look too far to find plenty of examples of Black women being something other than sassy and street smart; Quite frankly, its lazy and insulting.