Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Harold Ramis' daughter implores fans to stop hating on all-female Ghostbusters


When news of an all-female Ghostbusters reboot reached fans of the original movies, there was a vocal online backlash. Its first trailer ranked as the most disliked in history, after receiving more than 600,000 thumbs-down votes on YouTube.

Now, Violet Ramis Stiel, daughter of the late actor Harold Ramis – who played Egon Spengler in the original movies – has written an article imploring loyalists to the original line-up to give the new movie a chance.

In a piece for Splitsider she insists her father wouldn't have approved of the negativity towards the remake and the use of his name to undermine it.

"In his personal life, Harold Ramis was a kind, generous and gracious person," she says. "Professionally, he was always about sharing the spotlight and making the other guy look good. Please, stop using my dad as an excuse to hate the new Ghostbusters. It degrades his memory to spew bile in his name."

Ramis passed away in 2014 after a successful career as a writer, director and actor on titles including Groundhog Day and Knocked Up.

Ramis Stiel recalls following her father's career as a child and how angered she was at age seven by a TV version of Ghostbusters which didn't feature her father's likeness as Egon.

"I was so disappointed that they had taken the character away from my dad and so offended that people who liked the cartoon just accepted this new Egon without question," she wrote. " 'Don't you feel bad that you're not in the cartoon?' " I asked one Saturday morning as The Real Ghostbusters came on and I changed the channel. He laughed. " 'Umm, no. It's fine. It's business, Violet. The cartoon is its own thing.' "

Having learned from her dad's openness to change and newness, she suggests: "Let's be generous and make room for all of the visions and interpretations of what Ghostbusters can be."

"I still get annoyed when I see blonde cartoon Egon, but who cares?! It's a 20-year-old cartoon! The new movie is not the original and it's not trying to be. Give it a chance and go see it! Or don't, that's fine. But resist the urge to hold on so tightly to the past that you choke off new life."

Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis in the original Ghostbusters movie

Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis in the original Ghostbusters movie in 1984

Following the negative response to the initial trailer, the reboot starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth, has received largely positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, with a rating of 78%, speaking volumes about the initial bias towards it.

Many of the negative comments on the trailer were tied to the cast's gender, with director Paul Feig speaking out about how the backlash was amplified due to "vile misogyny" towards the all-female cast.

He later elaborated that "Some of [the criticism of the first trailer] is from people who don’t want an old property touched – I’m sympathetic to that. But the ones who are hating it because it’s about women? That’s just a non-starter.”

Critics who reviewed the new movie have also been targeted with misogynist backlash from trolls. Nigel M Smith wrote a response piece to those he called "Ghostbros," after his positive review was ludicrously accused of "pandering to politically correct, radical feminist rubbish."

But, as Ramis Stiel suggests, the 2016 Ghostbusters movie provides a chance for a new generation to engage with the story, so it should be appreciated irrespective of the original and of the actor's genders.

"Let's give my nine-year-old daughter a chance to put on a proton pack and feel like a badass," she wites. "In the spirit of my dad and his love for movies and comedy above all, I'll be there for Ghostbusters 2016 opening weekend with my kids, eating popcorn, wearing my Egon Spengler tribute pin, cheering on the new crew, and laughing loudly, from the heart."

Photos: Rex




Who you gonna call? The very first Ghostbusters trailer is here


An animal shelter is asking Pokémon Go players to walk its dogs


Melissa McCarthy talks body positivity and mutual support

Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 12.07.59.png

Comedian brilliantly sums up the conflicting messages aimed at women


Google’s new gender-balanced emoji offering is finally confirmed


See first official photos of the new all-female Ghostbusters cast


Wolf whistles could be recorded as hate crimes against women


Beyoncé and Rihanna speak out for victims of police brutality


Kristen Bell on the stigma surrounding mental health


Oscar-nominated director accused of sexual harassment by 31 women

“He told me he'd love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes”

by Susan Devaney
23 Oct 2017

Rebecca Black on the “intense nastiness” and abuse of her early fame

She was just 13 years old when her music video went viral

by Nicola Colyer
23 Oct 2017

Chrissy Teigen is a Clueless fangirl just like the rest of us

She did what we’d all do

by Susan Devaney
23 Oct 2017

Bridget Jones star Sarah Solemani: women need protection in auditions

The Bad Education actor recalls being asked to act out intimate scenes

by Amy Swales
23 Oct 2017

Kate Hudson on the unique harassment faced by women in Hollywood

“It feels horrible. It’s degrading. It’s dismissive. So much needs to change”

by Moya Crockett
23 Oct 2017

Jennifer Aniston reveals the £18 secret behind her iconic hair

And it's extremely low-effort

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Oct 2017

This is why Paloma Faith has never revealed her baby’s name

She welcomed her first child in December 2016, but has chosen not to publicise its name or sex

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Oct 2017

This massive star was very nearly in Hocus Pocus

Oh sisters, how very different things could have been

by Nicola Colyer
20 Oct 2017

Quentin Tarantino on not doing more to stop Harvey Weinstein

“I knew enough to do more than I did”

by Nicola Colyer
20 Oct 2017

Lupita Nyong’o says she was harassed by Harvey Weinstein as a student

“He told me not to be so naïve. If I wanted to be an actress, then I had to be willing to do this sort of thing.”

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2017