Harold Ramis' Daughter to Fans: "Stop Using My Dad as an Excuse to Hate" New 'Ghostbusters'
The daughter of the late actor Harold Ramis wants some Ghostbusters fans to cool their jets with all the negativity.
In an article posted to Split Sider on Thursday morning, Violet Ramis Stiel recalled how much she adored her father's performance as Egon Spengler and how disappointed she is that so many fans have used his name when negatively discussing the Sony reboot, which opens Friday.
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"In his personal life, Harold Ramis was a kind, generous and gracious person," his daughter wrote. "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."
The new film, starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth, was hammed by fans pretty much the moment the film's concept was released, with the first preview deemed the most disliked trailer in YouTube history. However, positive reviews for the film have outweighed the negative, and the reboot currently holds a 74 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Most of the original cast from the first two films have cameos in the reboot. Rick Moranis declined.
Ramis, who worked on numerous iconic films throughout his career — Caddyshack, Stripes, Vacation, Groundhog Day and Knocked Up, to name a few — as a writer, director and actor, died in February 2014 at the age of 69.
Stiel was 7 in 1984, when the first Ghostbusters — a blockbuster praised by the critics — hit theaters. After falling in love with her father's performance, she wrote that as a child, she felt betrayed when the popular late-'80s cartoon The Real Ghostbusters changed Egon's look to "some blonde guy in Sally Jesse Raphael glasses."
"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," Stiel wrote. " 'Don't you feel bad that you're not in the cartoon?' " I asked one Saturday morning as RGB came on and I changed the channel. He laughed. " 'Umm, no. It's fine. It's business, Violet. The cartoon is its own thing.' "
Stiel was making the point that she can understand, to an extent, that fans, especially those of such a masterful piece of entertainment, do not like change. But change is not always bad, she insisted.
"Let's be generous and make room for all of the visions and interpretations of what Ghostbusters can be," Stiel wrote. "I still get annoyed when I see blond 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."
Stiel closed by saying she, along with her child, would be seeing the film this weekend.
"Let's give my nine-year-old daughter a chance to put on a proton pack and feel like a badass," she wrote. "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."
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