The remake of Ghostbusters with four women in the lead roles gave rise to a backlash because of its politically correct casting, which was then exacerbated when it was hooked to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “woman card” candidacy.
To the surprise of Sony, Ms. DeGeneres announced on May 17 that her talk show had booked Mrs. Clinton — a friend, political ally and repeated past guest — to appear Wednesday on an episode for which she had already scheduled the “Ghostbusters” stars Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon….
But the not-quite-joint appearance came as less-than-welcome news to Sony, whose marketing team has been fighting to tamp down what it sees as a misogynistic, Internet-based assault on the movie. The first trailer for the new film, released in early March, became the most disliked trailer in YouTube history after a coordinated campaign by a group of mostly male naysayers.
Sony wants its movie to make money. If it can trade off the current trend of gender politics, great. After all, why else would they cast four women? But that doesn’t mean they believe in the political statement being imposed upon its movie, or that they want the movie to be inextricably connected to the candidacy of a woman for president.
“Get your Woman Cards ready,” Ms. DeGeneres wrote on Twitter to her 60 million followers, a reference to the Republican contender Donald J. Trump’s criticism that Mrs. Clinton had relied on playing “the woman’s card.” The show’s website added, “This Wednesday, Ellen’s sitting down with some powerful women!”
The last thing Sony needs is someone at the door checking people for their “woman cards.” When X Files star Gillian Anderson twitted about the possibility of her taking on the role of the best known British spy ever, a suave, debonair, womanizing, tough guy, a good question was posed:
Why not create a new original female secret agent instead of gender-swapping an existing one? Is creativity dead? https://t.co/GoBRplX7mo
— Yeyo (@YeyoZa) May 24, 2016
Anderson is a great actress, and would make an exceptional movie spy. But why Bond? One might wonder whether Ian Fleming gets a say, but he’s a dead white guy, so he wouldn’t be allowed to own his character anyway.
On Broadway, the play Hamilton included casting without regard to race, which conflicted with history, to make the point that we should move beyond the prejudice of race in such decisions and instead focus on talent. The play is overwhelmingly popular because, I’m told, it’s a great play. I haven’t seen it so I can’t say. And this is true either because of, or despite, racially blind casting. But even so, that hasn’t insulated the play from harsh racial criticism.
At the Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf engaged a 22-year-old white guy about why he (and his Asian wife) backed the Trump.
For me personally, it’s resistance against what San Francisco has been, and what I see the country becoming, in the form of ultra-PC culture. That’s where it’s almost impossible to have polite or constructive political discussion. Disagreement gets you labeled fascist, racist, bigoted, etc. It can provoke a reaction so intense that you’re suddenly an unperson to an acquaintance or friend. There is no saying “Hey, I disagree with you,” it’s just instant shunning.
Of course, the “ultra-PC” side complains of the same problem, though they also demand that the polite discussion be dictated entirely by the exclusive use of their words, ideas and sensibilities, or you’re a racist or misogynist with whom no discussion can be had because you’re wrong.
The lesson here, which is one that seems to be obvious to everyone except the media, progressives and academics, is the harder they try to create their Utopia, the more people flee to Trump. It’s not that people think Trump has sound ideas, but that he doesn’t have PC ideas. So they keep screaming louder, as if the deaf public will finally hear what they’re saying and realize they own truth and justice. And with each increasing decibel, Trump’s numbers go up. “People are so stupid,” they mutter, as they shake their heads and craft more demands to end microaggressions.
Yet, the experiment went on long before the deeply passionate selected gender and deviant sexual studies as their major at Oberlin. It was happening in a place that never interested them, but happening nonetheless.
But as its 20th season gets underway, the W.N.B.A.’s modest attendance and television viewership (just below 200,000 on ESPN’s networks last season) illuminate a stubborn imbalance between men’s and women’s professional leagues, adding to the expanding debate about the place of women’s sports in society.
These anxieties have increased more than 40 years after the federal law known as Title IX opened the way for millions of girls to play sports. The women’s professional leagues they move on to are still struggling to develop and hold lasting public interest.
You can argue equality all you want (though it would be far more utilitarian to do so using real words than the meaningless jargon of intersectionality), but you can’t make people buy tickets to things they don’t want to see. You can legislate 31 flavors invading New York, but you can’t make anyone care.
Will Gillian Anderson make a great Jane Bond? Probably, but she would also make a great female secret agent no matter what the character is called. But by trying to force a woman into a role made for a man, you’re not achieving the gender hegemony you believe with all your sad heart you deserve. And if you think calling people names is going to win them over, you watch too much Ellen.