Controversy has surrounded the reboot of Ghostbusters since its early stages, as the idea of an all-female team of supernatural experts irked some people and led to director Paul Feig defending the concept from the get-go.
However since then, the uproar over the all-female ghostbusting team has died down and now outrage has been placed elsewhere. The issue comes from the casting of Leslie Jones as a MTA employee while her fellow cast mates - Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, and Kate McKinnon - take on the roles of scientists. In light of the recent controversy over whitewashing in Hollywood (a problem which has steadily been bubbling to the surface for many years) and the lack of diversity in the entertainment industry, it could be said that the casting of Jones in the role of a stereotypical street-smart, sassy addition to the team could not come at a worse time.
Despite the controversy and the various responses which Jones's role has received, the cast have been quick to hit back at the critics, with the greatest response coming from Jones herself, who has already gotten sick of defending her character, Patty Tolan, from the critics screaming, "racism!"
Following a tweet she received from a fan, who also happened to be a MTA worker, thanking her for being her, Jones decided to take aim at those criticising her role in the film, rejecting any suggestions that her casting alongside her white fellow actors was racist.
She took the time to also defend Paul Feig, who has been the target of criticism since the idea of an all-female Ghostbusters was announced.
After retweeting various messages of support from fans, Jones continued her defending stance, calling out those who regarded her role as a MTA worker as "lowly" for being racist.
Jones's tweets, and her numerous retweets, should be just enough to placate most critics of her role until the film comes out and they find another opportunity to shake their fists for the sake of it. The constant need to defend her role in the film even led to Jones considering quitting Twitter earlier this week, writing, "I think today will be the day I get rid of Twitter. Gonna really be thinking about it. Not sure I want to need it anymore. Know what I mean?"
In the meantime, Paul Feig has revealed that Jones' role was originally written with Melissa McCarthy in mind, throwing the critics off once again. Speaking with Empire, Feig explained how he envisioned his favourite leading lady in the role of Patty:
We had written the role with Melissa in mind, but then I thought I’ve seen Melissa play a brash, larger than life character. She’s done it in my movies before ... This is the role that Leslie can shine comedically in. If you’ve ever seen her do stand-up, it’s just who she is. I wanted to unleash Leslie on the public in the same way we unleashed Melissa on the public in Bridesmaids, with a very showy role.
So there you have it. We can all take this Leslie Jones/Ghostbusters drama as a great lesson in learning not to speak on behalf of other people and their choices. Just as Jones retweeted, "it's super annoying and sad that people are trying to diminish the importance of her character in the movie," let's put a stop to it.