When Sony dropped the trailer for Paul Feig’s reboot of Ghostbusters, the reaction wasn’t even mixed — it was universally hated. Now, the preview’s underwhelming status has been solidified in the annals of YouTube history, as it’s officially the site’s most disliked movie trailer of all time.
As of this writing, the official stream of the trailer has a staggering 604,702 dislikes against 213,228 likes, with 29,698,622 total views. Not only does that make it the most disliked trailer ever, it’s the 23rd most disliked video in general. By comparison, generally deplored movies like 2015’s Fantastic Four and Adam Sandler’s The Ridiculous Six have only 20,175 and 5,803 dislikes, respectively. That kind of vast difference brings up an interesting query: Why all the hate?
For one thing, the Internet is a hive of mob mentality, and that often manifests as hatred. Many of the other videos on the most disliked list are things that have largely been appreciated by the general public, but that detractors abhor with passion. Justin Bieber’s “Baby” video sits at No. 1 with a hearty 6,042,981 dislikes. While there are objectively some terrible things about that clip, the song also helped launch an international superstar and has gone 12 times platinum. It’s also simultaneously the 10th most viewed YouTube video of all time, so people are certainly going back for more. Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda”, Adele’s “Hello”, three Taylor Swift songs, and even the classic “Charlie Bit My Finger — Again!” clip also all sit on the most disliked list.
(Read: Five Reasons the Ghostbusters Trailer Has Us Worried)
There’s also some convincing evidence that the hate directed to the Ghostbusters trailer is somewhat of a designed attack. As Screen Crush noted, the amount of dislikes for the preview is massively disproportionate to those dished out elsewhere. A video like “Baby” has a 226:1 views-to-dislikes ratio, while something like the No. 4 most disliked overall, Psy’s “Gangnam Style” has a solid 1,666:1. Ghostbusters, meanwhile, has an unfathomable 56:1 views-to-dislikes ratio. And that seems a bit fishy.
Scroll through the YouTube comments for the trailer and you’ll find comments like, “We made it to 500000 dislikes,” “Inb4 one million dislikes,” and “WE REACHED 600K!!” Remarks like that imply that some folks were just trying to make this the most disliked trailer ever. Other commenters advised people to sign in with multiple accounts to dislike more than once, and there are even reports that some people have designed bots to increase the number of thumbs downs.
So, the question then becomes why has Ghostbusters in particular brought out such aggressive haters? There are certainly some reasonable grievances that have contributed to many of the unimpressed feelings, but a quick glance through the comments section reveals other motives. Some are just livid that their beloved film is being remade at all (the classic/moronic “They’re ruining my childhood!” cry). Other remarks, however, take a decidedly misogynist — or at least anti-feminist — turn. “Okay Girls! Stop This Sht! [sic] And Go Back To The Kitchen!” reads one comment. And it goes on from there: “Directed by a femenazi;” “As a men [sic] I feel attacked by this film because this film just exists to satisfy feminists;” “Women are just not funny….”
(Read: The 50 Most Anticipated Films of 2016)
Some have even tried to preemptively defend themselves against accusations of misogyny. “People are disliking this movie because it is a shitty remake and they picked the most unfunny female comedians for it,” reads one post. “Not liking unfunny women is not mysoginy [sic].” Opinions on who exactly is or isn’t funny are fine, but it’s hard to argue that a film starring two of the most respected and popular female comics in Hollywood (Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy) and two rising stars of Saturday Night Live (Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones) features “the most unfunny female comedians.”
By the sheer statistical data of down-votes, yes, Ghostbusters is the most loathed movie trailer on all of YouTube. Still, it’s interesting to examine why and how it earned that title. Some bad apples and temperamental brats abusing their right to an opinion doesn’t invalidate those who have considered reasons for clicking that thumbs down button. But they just may invalidate the claim that the Ghostbusters trailer is truly the most disliked YouTube trailer ever.