Leslie Jones is standing up to social media bullies — and she has plenty of support in her mission, including the CEO of Twitter. Jones, who is best known for her hilarious work on Saturday Night Live, defended herself against an onslaught of racist and misogynistic tweets just days after the premiere of her new movie Ghostbusters. According to People, while Leslie Jones first blocked the trolls, she later revealed that she unblocked them so fans could go through her feed and see the hatred that she was subjected to.
In a lengthy series of her own tweets, Leslie Jones revealed that she had been called a “ugly” and an ape and that she had been sent other disgusting and offensive tweets from sick social media users. Jones condemned the hate and admitted that she now understands why some celebrities don’t use social media at all.
“On my worst day I can’t think of this type of hate to put out,” Jones tweeted. “I don’t know how to feel. I’m numb. I see the words and pics and videos. Videos y’all. Meaning people took time to spew hate.”
“I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart,” Jones later wrote. “All this cause I did a movie. You can hate the movie but the s**t I got today…wrong.”
I feel like I'm in a personal hell. I didn't do anything to deserve this. It's just too much. It shouldn't be like this. So hurt right now.— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 19, 2016
Jones ultimately appealed to Twitter’s powers-that-be to do something about the deranged users who have free reign over the social media site. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey finally reached out to Jones, asking her to direct message him, but there has been no official statement from Twitter’s support team regarding Leslie Jones or her request for stronger Twitter guidelines
Twitter I understand you got free speech I get it. But there has to be some guidelines when you let spread like that. You can see on the— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 19, 2016
Profiles that some of these people are crazy sick. It's not enough to freeze Acct. They should be reported.— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 19, 2016
It wasn’t long before Hollywood came to Leslie Jones’ defense, including Ghostbusters director Paul Feig, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, and fellow comedian Margaret Cho. In addition, the #LoveforLeslieJ hashtag quickly lit up Twitter.
I absolutely LOVE @Lesdoggg And so does everyone I know. I hope she can feel that right now x x x— James Corden (@JKCorden) July 19, 2016
We love you Leslie Jones. The people who behave like that have to live with themselves. And that must be painful. https://t.co/kn1arGgkhe— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) July 19, 2016
Leslie Jones was targeted by trolls days after the all-female Ghostbusters reboot angered some overly-nostalgic individuals 32 years after the original movie starred Billy Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Harold Ramis.
The Verge reported that other female Ghostbusters 2016 castmembers also faced online attacks, but that the worst was saved for Jones, who was compared to slain gorilla Harambe and video game character Donkey Kong. Jones co-stars with Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon in the Ghostbusters reboot, which earned $46 million in its opening weekend.
Leslie Jones joined SNL in 2014 at age 47, making her the oldest person ever to join the show as a cast member, according to the Los Angeles Times. The six-foot tall actress has always said she doesn’t care what people think of her.
“I know who I am,” Jones told the Times. “And I don’t care if you think I’m sexy.”
Jones also revealed that the early death of her brother seven years ago shifted the way she thinks about her career, and she vowed that when she passes away people will have known the real Leslie.
“There was a time where I knew I was as funny as many dudes but I had people telling me, “You have to wear a dress onstage. You need to be more feminine,'” Jones revealed. “When my brother passed away… I made a decision that I might die soon, and if I die, I want people to know who I really am.”
While she’s known as a funny lady, even before she was attacked by vicious Twitter trolls, Jones was mourning the state of the world today — and she pointed a finger at social media.
“Our nation is just sad right now. Everybody is just depressed. I feel the unhappiness of us,” Jones previously said. “The internet has made it so we don’t have to sit together anymore. It’s so self-absorbed. No one has to talk to each other anymore, and people don’t realize that that is killing us.”
Take a look at the video below to see Leslie Jones and her co-stars talking about the Ghostbusters reboot.
[Photo by Albert E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]