Audiences seem to have enjoyed Ghostbusters when it opened this past weekend, but Leslie Jones wasn’t in a celebratory mood. Rather, her enjoyment was taken from her when a bunch of racist and misogynistic Twitter users harassed and insulted her online, the New York Times reports.
This Ghostbusters reboot has been followed by sexist and misogynistic fanboys ever since it was first announced. All of whom just cannot stand the fact that one of their beloved childhood movies from the ’80s was being remade — with an all-female cast. But, in Leslie’s case, because she is black, she also had to deal with the racism.
“You know I’m gonna stop blocking so y’all can go through my feed yourself and see the bs,” the SNL actress wrote in a tweet. “You won’t believe the evil. It’s f***ing scary.”
Apparently at one point, users started circulating screenshots of what appeared to be Jones’ Twitter account making racist and homophobic comments, except these pictures were all fake.
These were more than likely the same group of Twitter users who were bashing comedian Patton Oswalt for saying he liked the movie. They were throwing disgusting insults at him while mentioning his wife, who recently passed away, in a horribly disrespectful manner.
Eventually, director Paul Feig stepped in with a tweet. “Leslie Jones is one of the greatest people I know. Any personal attacks against her are attacks against us all. #LoveForLeslieJ”
The Hollywood Reporter credits the Ghostbusters director as “sparking” the Twitter movement with the hashtag #LoveForLeslieJ. The site, along with many others, are ignoring the originator of the hashtag — Twitter user @MarissaRei1.
It’s funny that a story about a black actress dealing with misogyny and racism online gets publications writing about it, using the hashtag involved, and ignoring the black woman who created the hashtag to begin with. This is nothing new. This was done to April Reign (@ReignofApril) who started the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag.
Leslie Jones had to fight these trolls off while Instagram happily deleted a bunch of snake emojis that were flooding Taylor Swift’s account. Apparently she’s a snake, having lied about not knowing the lyrics to Kanye West’s “Famous.” I’m sure you’ve witnessed Kim Kardashian’s epic response. But snake emojis got taken down much quicker than racist and misogynist tweets.
The reason why is just blatantly obvious; in fact in this instance, it is just absurdly ironic.
And Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey did reach out to Leslie Jones to address the online trolls. But we’re going to have to wait and see the result of that.
I actually went to go see Ghostbusters on Sunday. In no way is it a terrible movie; in fact, it’s quite funny. So anybody who was upset for this movie and being petrified that it would be a complete and utter disaster because it happens to have four women in the lead roles really needs to chill and check their misogyny, along with their racism.
While I understand cheering Leslie Jones on, letting her know how much she’s loved and telling her to be strong, she shouldn’t have to be because this never should have happened to her in the first place. We can’t continue to let racism, sexism, misogyny, and toxic hypermasculinity fester and be perpetuated in spaces like Twitter, or anywhere else.
Leslie Jones said it herself in her tweets. We — well, men specifically — cannot continue to allow other men to participate in or be an observer of this kind of toxic harassment and not say something. And white people in general need to check other white people who are spewing this kind of racist filth. Stop being silent.
The world only operates this way because we’ve allowed it to. You see everybody else ignoring it so you figure you will, too, and that makes you part of the problem. So “shrugging it off” and “getting over it” is not an acceptable excuse. If you think these people in our society are just awful, terrible human beings, then it is your responsibility to be better and to call them out. Otherwise, you have no business complaining about it when it happens to you, Leslie Jones or anyone else.
[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]