Harold Ramis’ daughter voices support for new ‘Ghostbusters’

NEW YORK, July 15 (UPI) — Harold Ramis‘ daughter, Violet Ramis Stiel, stands behind the new Ghostbusters.

Stiel, 40, voiced her support for the reboot in an essay for Splitsider following months of backlash toward the film and its female-led cast. Ramis, who played Egon Spengler in the original 1984 movie, died at age 69 in 2014.

“There was no way I could stand behind the viciousness and ugliness that seemed to fuel [critics],” Stiel wrote. “From flat-out rejection of women as funny, to remarks about the actors’ looks, to the invocation of GB84 as ‘untouchable’ and disgust with ‘reboot culture’ generally, I was shocked by the anger and outrage.”

“I mourn my dad’s absence in this world as much, if not more, than anyone, but for people to say that he is ‘rolling in his grave’ or would never have let a female-centered cast happen is insane,” she declared. “Please, stop using my dad as an excuse to hate the new Ghostbusters. It degrades his memory to spew bile in his name.”

Stiel admitted she initially had “mixed feelings” about the reboot, in part out of grief for her dad. She said it was the positive fans — “the people who adore and obsess over all things Ghostbusters” — that ultimately led her to embrace the film.

“[Let’s] not restrict the Ghostbusters universe from extending as far and wide as it possibly can. Let’s be generous and make room for all of the visions and interpretations of what Ghostbusters can be,” Stiel encouraged.

“The new movie is not the original and it’s not trying to be,” she chided. “Give it a chance and go see it! Or don’t, that’s fine … In the spirit of my dad and his love for movies and comedy above all, I’ll be there for Ghostbusters 2016 opening weekend.”

The new Ghostbusters stars Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon and opens in theaters Friday. The film’s director, Paul Feig, defended the actresses from critics in March, tweeting, “Grow up and leave my cast alone.”

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