If there’s somethin’ strange with your public image — who ya gonna call? Ghost–busters!
Wait, no. Turns out the answer to that question, which we hope you sang to the melody of the Ghostbusters theme song, is Ellen DeGeneres. The daytime talk show host, it just so happens, featured both Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and the cast of the all-female Ghostbusters remake in an episode that aired Wednesday: Two entities that are going through apparent struggles with their public images.
Clinton, who is closing in on the Democratic presidential nomination, has appeared on Ellen before to play up the softer side of her persona, and her position is less tenuous than that of Ellen’s other guests for the episode. She has seen some high unfavorable ratings in recent polls, but they still don’t approach the heights of her likely rival in the general election. The Ghostbusters cast made its maiden appearance on Ellen, while the film is in the midst of a glaring PR problem. Sony Pictures released the first trailer for the much-talked about remake in March, and it quickly achieved a dubious distinction by becoming the most disliked video in YouTube history. Sony saw the backlash against the trailer has having been a coordinated, misogynist campaign against the all-women film led by a small but influential group of fan sites. And the studio notes that a second trailer was much better received and viewed by more men than women.
Still, the movie execs, though initially upbeat about a chance to reach the Ellen audience and appear in a positive atmosphere, bristled when they learned the film’s cast would be appearing alongside Clinton. They stress, according to The New York Times, that the movie cast was booked to appear months ago, long before Clinton apparently was slated to appear in the same episode.
Movie studios are often hyper risk-averse, and the idea of associating the film with politics, particularly during such a divisive election cycle, didn’t sit well with some Sony executives. Perhaps, though, Sony is underestimating the power of DeGeneres’ Hollywood persona. After all, she’s a showbiz titan, and her famous Oscars selfie two years ago was estimated to be worth $1 billion in marketing value. Below are clips of both of their appearances — both of which the studio audience seemed to enjoy.
Read the full story at The New York Times.