Why the ‘Ghostbusters’ Trailer Is the Most ‘Disliked’ Movie Trailer in YouTube History
The first trailer for Paul Feig’s female-led Ghostbusters remake arrived in March of this year and the reaction was almost immediately disappointing. Even among those, like us, who are excited for the Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig film, it was a poorly put together trailer that did little to inspire confidence in the finished product. And then there are those who have been angrily and, at times, violently against the Ghostbusters movie since the original announcement that it would star four women and they really did not like the new trailer. Perhaps as an indicator of exactly how virulent the anger towards the new Ghostbusters film is, the trailer has been “disliked” so many times, it is already the most disliked movie trailer in YouTube history.
The Ghostbusters trailer currently has 507,610 dislikes on YouTube. To put that in perspective, the Fantastic Four trailer from last year has only 20,175 dislikes. The Ridiculous Six trailer, which has an impressive 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, has only 5,803 dislikes. Could Ghostbusters be that much worse than either of those two movies? It’s seems unlikely knowing what we know about both Fantastic Four and Ridiculous Six. What is actually happening is that a certain subset of people on the internet have an unhealthy fixation with hating on the Ghostbusters remake and are teaming up to downvote it into oblivion.
Consider some of the rest of the videos on this playlist, which ranks the Top 100 most “disliked” videos on YouTube (current as of April 16, 2016). With 507,610 thumbs down votes, the Ghostbusters trailer is the most disliked movie trailer in the history of YouTube and currently the only movie trailer that even cracks the Top 100. The only other movie-related videos on the list include two versions of “Let It Go” from Frozen.
Justin Bieber’s “Baby” (#1 on the list) has a whopping 6 million thumbs down votes, but that’s on 1.36 billion views for a 226:1 ratio of views to dislikes. Psy’s “Gangnam Style” video (#4 overall) has almost 1.5 million thumbs down on 2.5 billion views for a relatively high ratio of 1,666:1. The Ghostbusters trailer is remarkable in that it has 507,610 dislikes on just 28.7 million views. That’s a staggering 56:1, almost exactly four times the amount of dislikes per view of Bieber’s aforementioned most disliked video on all of YouTube. (By contrast, a trailer for a movie like Captain America: Civil War has a 5,237:1 ratio.) It’s not just that people dislike it, it’s that they’re disliking it at a highly disproportionate rate to other YouTube videos.
As the inclusion of “Let It Go” might indicate, the majority of the list is filled with songs that were popular but quickly became annoying. Justin Bieber, for example, has 11 of the most disliked videos. But a more telling statistic is that the majority of the videos on the list (59%) star or feature women or female characters. In addition to the Ghostbusters trailer, there’s Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, and even Adele. Who hates Adele?!
There is a lot of hatred directed towards the new trailer, primarily because it stars four women (though the haters would have you believe misogyny is not the real driving force behind their invective) and seemingly not at all connected to its quality. Quickly the misogyny began to overwhelm the comments under the Ghostbusters trailer and Sony Pictures was forced to delete many offensive remarks, though it doesn’t take long even now to find comments like, “When are people going to learn that women aren’t funny?“ and “GhostBusters - Fat Dyke Edition”. The dislikes eventually got to a point where it became a game among those who hate the movie and frequently return to watch the numbers grow. When one fan commented, “We made it to 500000 dislikes,” another followed up with an enthusiastic, “Lets [sic] get it to a million!”
And that’s really the bigger problem here. It’s not that people disliked the movie on an organic level. As shown above with Fantastic Four and Ridiculous Six, even when people don’t like a movie they don’t “dislike” it this much. The thumbs down votes aren’t organic, they’re part of a coordinated attack on the film by people who are opposed to its very existence. There have even been reports across the web that angry fans are using bots to artificially drive up the “dislikes” on the trailer. What’s worse, there’s a culture of misogyny and toxicity to YouTube comments that fosters this type of attitude. Just a quick look at the same trailer posted by Sony Pictures to Facebook shows only 12,000 “angry” votes (the Facebook version of the thumbs down “dislike”) on 22 million views.
The good news is that while there are over a half-million “dislikes” on the Ghostbusters trailer, there are still over 27 million people who watched the trailer who either officially liked it or had nothing negative to say about it. So while there may be a vocal minority trying to game the YouTube voting system to bring down a movie with a female cast, they are still the minority.
Sadly, at the rate they are going, it’s not crazy to think the video could reach 1 million dislikes by the time Ghostbusters opens in July. At that point, who knows how much this campaign will have hurt the movie and all this before we have any real idea whether this movie itself is any good.