‘Ghostbusters’: Was The Original Film Sexist? New Video Makes Compelling Case

The video essay asks: What roles did women have in the 1984 version?

The female-led “Ghostbusters” has finally arrived in theaters. Since its announcement, the film has been tarnished and criticized by fanboys of the original for its new version involving four women in the lead roles. But before you judge the reboot, a new video essay by Kevin B. Lee wants you to take a look at how the original 1984 action flick depicted women and if you find anything sexist about it.

“The new ‘Ghostbusters’ movie was hit with backlash for its all-female cast because the gender-switching is supposedly not true to the original,” states the opening lines in the video. “It got us wondering: What roles did women have in the 1984 version?”

READ MORE: The Onion Reviews ‘Ghostbusters,’ a Reminder That the Souls of All Sinners Should ‘Suffer Forever’

The four-minute video takes a look at the six most important female roles in the original film starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson. It features the helpless librarian who’s the first victim of a ghost attack, the cleaning lady in the hotel and Oscar nominee Sigourney Weaver as she “fends off the horndog advances of Bill Murray’s Peter Venkman, only to turn into a nymphomaniac through demon possession.”

Some of the most notable cases made in the video are Peter’s remarks to their receptionist Janine (Annie Potts), such as: “Janine, someone with your qualification would have no trouble finding a top-flight job in either the food service or housekeeping industries.” It also shows how an independent Dana seduces Peter and must be saved by him.

READ MORE: Why The ‘Ghostbusters’ Backlash Is A Sexist Control Issue

“In this light, the new ‘Ghostbusters’ isn’t so much about the women taking over a movie franchise as it is about women taking back control of themselves,” the video concludes.

Check out the clip below:

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

Daily Headlines
Daily Headlines covering Film, TV and more.

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

PMC Logo
IndieWire is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 IndieWire Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.