He’s on a mission from God.
Last week, our Matthew Monagle wrote what I would consider to be the equivalent of an olive branch to Ghostbros, the subset of fandom that has been making coordinated attacks on the new Ghostbusters movie. They’ve tried everything from downvoting the trailer on YouTube to deflating the film’s IMDB score to organizing in an attempt to downvote every positive story on Reddit. At the time of Matthew’s piece, everything was “ha ha” funny, a sad story about a group that feels marginalized and their desperate attempt to thwart a major Hollywood release. We were calling for a change in discourse – a reexamination of how we talk about the things we love (and the things that might not be for us.
Then it all went to hell, as Ghostbros and notable Internet trash Milo Yiannopoulos led the charge in a series of disgustingly racist and sexist attacks on Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones. The outcry against this sort of harassment was so loud that Twitter permanently suspended Yiannopolous’s account days later.
Needless to say, this whole thing went from divisive to ugly in a matter of days. Childhoods have been ruined on both sides.
Leslie Jones’ fellow actors and other members of the Hollywood community have come to her defense in recent days, alongside pundits and critics weary of the way the Internet gives amplified voice to those who will say the worst things imaginable. But none have been quite as sharp and direct as the response ET Canada got in an interview with original Ghostbusters star and writer Dan Aykroyd, who had this to say about the so-called Ghostbros:
“These people, first of all, they’re insignificant gnats. They’re losers, they have no lives of their own, they can probably barely pay for the wifi they’re using. I would say you’re looking at obese white men between 50 and 60 who are active Klan members, or members of the Aryan Nation, and there are millions of them.”
When your heroes are turning against you, perhaps your “movement” is on the wrong side of this.