Man at His Best

Opinion: Can We Please Stop Producing Remakes Of Women Replacing Men?

Studios are swapping genders in remakes—and letting women tread the ground already worn by the footsteps of men.

BY Fin Carew | Oct 6, 2016 | Film & TV

We, at Esquire, love women. Some of us even believe that they should be considered equal to men, but the rest of the world doesn’t look upon them so fondly, though. From Olympic commentators stating that the husband of Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu was “the man responsible” for her win, to Suicide Squad producers deciding all their female characters should yearn for a man’s approval or be in desperate need of rescuing, women get a rough deal. Studios aware of the outcry are moving to make women more prevalent in movies. Sadly, the best that they could come up with is swapping genders in remakes—and letting women tread the ground already worn by the footsteps of men.

The Ghostbusters remake was the most high profile example of this trend. The film is untouchable in the minds of the fans who consider themselves the owners of the IP. A remake, especially one with women, was never going to go down well with the “nerd” demographic whose inability to tear themselves away from their ’80s/’90s nostalgia has been a roadblock to progression for years. The quotation marks are there to emphasise how “nerd” is a misleading, self­identifying label, because I personally prefer the term “Crusty, Uncleansed Anus Hair” for this collection of masculine rabble.

Crusty, Uncleansed Anus Hair is a group of terrible people who have decided that fighting honest journalism is best achieved with sexism and bullying. They started off with videogames and have since moved on to the movie industry and anything “nerd culture” related. Crusty, Uncleansed Anus Hair hated Ghostbusters (2016) from its conception because it had women in it. The remake was well received by critics, but because it was never going to be as good as the original (an impossible expectation), it only served as “I told you so” ammunition for the bigots—much of which was targeted at actor Leslie Jones, because did you know Crusty, Uncleansed Anus Hair aren’t just misogynistic, but also racist?

You’d think it’d make sense to just generate new IPs and cast women in them. Take the Ocean’s 8 announcement—featuring a great cast with lots of promise—that will inevitably be compared to its male­dominated original. At this rate, women will only ever be seen as catching up to men as they pick up the pieces of brands men have already built and destroyed, Ozymandias­style. 

But it’s remakes that make the news these days, because that’s what sparks the greatest controversy, and that’s what gets you free press. Studios know that if you don’t generate some kind of hype about your movie, then it might as well be released in a cave in the Himalayas surrounded by wolves. Making decisions that piss off Crusty, Uncleansed Anus Hair is all well and good, but it’s the artists who pay the price—like Leslie Jones—and it only serves to show that Hollywood thinks women can only follow men, not walk alongside or lead them.

From: Esquire Singapore's October 2016 issue.