Following the release of the first and international Ghostbusters trailers, the controversial movie that has prided itself on its pro-feminist casting, has once again been bombarded with a barrage of hatred, with many criticisms citing the movies lack of originality, lack of humor, lack of scares and needless sexual connotations. One of the biggest criticisms the trailers have received is the movies apparent racist approach towards the character of Patty Tolan, portrayed by Saturday Night Live regular Leslie Jones. Fans have called the character a racist misrepresentation of Black American women, with the character being the only non-scientist of the primary group. Unsurprisingly director Paul Feig has responded while talking to Empire, claiming that Jones role was originally intended for Melissa McCarthy...
“Actually, when Katie [Dippold, Feig’s co-writer] and I wrote the script, we had written the role with Melissa [McCarthy] 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!”
“Jones is one of my favorite people on the planet. I don’t normally like comedy that’s big and loud, but she is able to pull that off in a way that feels real and it’s her. And when I make a movie, I want to find the funniest people I know and once I know what’s the funniest thing about them I want that to be the thing that I put on screen and let shine. 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.”
While Feigs statement above does correlate with earlier reports about the movies characters, the fact does remain however that Feig cast an ethnic minority actress in the lowest class part, copying the line up of the original in which Ernie Hudson played the blue collar member of the team, Winston Zeddemore, whom when joining the Ghostbusters was not a scientist. Considering the renewed bouts of criticism, maybe Feig should have left McCarthy in the role of Patty; that said had he done so, would he not have received critism for having one of his white actresses hitting his only Black actress.