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Actresses Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and 'Ghostbusters' director Paul Feig attend CinemaCon 2016
Todd Williamson—Getty Images for CinemaCon

The new Ghostbusters movie was met with criticism before it was even released, but the cast and crew aren’t having it. Director Paul Feig called complaints about the female-heavy casting “misogynistic,” and now he’s fighting back against more sexism toward the movie.

“The whole ‘chick-flick’ idea is an excuse for guys not to have to see something,” Feig said in an interview with the New York Times.It’s what I consider to be a derogatory title. I try with my movies to go: Look how funny these people are.”

The film’s female stars, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, are all well-known actresses and comics—three of them have been regular cast members on Saturday Night Live. Yet as with Bridesmaids and what feels like all other female-driven films, the criticism seems relentless.

“I’m surprised, because women have been killing it for years,” Jones told the New York Times. “It’s the same thing, when you go to a comedy club. [announcer’s voice] ‘Are you guys ready for a woman?’ Are you ready for a unicorn? Why is being a woman so surprising? There are two sexes. A man and a woman. So, if it’s not a man in a movie, what else was it going to be?”

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