A Tuesday op-ed published in The Guardian alleges that the upcoming “Ghostbusters” film doesn’t do enough to promote “diversity” among the main characters, despite widespread praise for its apparent feminist undertones.
“Unsurprisingly, the trailer eviscerated my oh-so-low expectations by sinking to the racist low of the 1984 original,” writes Janessa E. Robinson. “Leslie Jones’s character, Patty Tolan,” — the film’s only black protagonist — “is presented in the film’s first trailer next to three ‘brilliant’ white female scientists as the seemingly intellectually inferior token black woman with street sense and a Cadillac.” (VIDEO: New ‘Ghostbusters’ Trailer Is Definitely … Something)
“With three leading female characters, the film features no Latina, Asian or Indigenous women and simply opts to fulfill its black quota as a nod to the original storyline,” she continued. “Jones’s sassy black character is a transit worker for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, providing her with the skills necessary to track down ghosts across New York, but as the only representation of race and class commentary in the trailer, it ultimately pathologises the working class and blackness by making the two synonymous with a seemingly inept character.”
Robinson does explain that she is comforted that Jones “does not feel misrepresented in the editing of her role, which commonly happens to black people in film.”
“Praising white women’s access to roles that challenge patriarchy yet simultaneously harm black women through perpetuating racist tropes can only be feminist if the word has no meaning,” she concluded.