Dan Akroyd Steps Up To Defend Leslie Jones During Racist Twitterstorm

Leslie Jones has an inexplicable amount of haters on Twitter right now. The new Ghostbusters actress has at least one prominent defender in the person of the former Ghostbusters star, Dan Akroyd.

It all started after Leslie Jones’ new movie finally launched after months of hatred and vitriol aimed at the flick. It appears now that the movie is officially out among the public, the public decided to single out the actress.

The vitriol became so great, with Twitter users claiming pictures of gorillas were pictures of Jones, that the actress has since announced she was leaving the social media site. Until she felt she had no choice but to leave, Jones was turning to the admins at Twitter to put a stop to the racist tripe.

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The racist and just plain abusive attacks were apparently led by at least one person who calls himself a journalist. That “journalist,” who works for Breitbart’s tech department, is named Milo Yiannopoulos, and he is among a handful of Twitter users who were banned permanently after the abuse came to light.

Jones might have been coming under attack from a great number of users, but she also had a ton of supporters take up her cause. Among the most prominent of those working to help Leslie Jones feel as if she wasn’t alone was Dan Akroyd.

Akroyd and Jones have more ties to each other than the Ghostbusters films. The funnyman was one of the original Saturday Night Live actors. Leslie Jones is among the new generation of SNL actors, and she has managed to make a career outside of the long-running show.

Akroyd recently talked to Entertainment Tonight Canada about the Jones situation and called those going after her “insignificant gnats,” among other less than positive comments. To his credit, Akroyd appeared to enjoy telling the website what he thought of those that were attacking Jones.

“They have no lives of their own, they can barely pay for the wi-fi they’re using, probably no jobs. I would say you’re looking at obese, white men between 50 and 60, who are active Klan members or members of the Aryan Nation, and there are millions of them.”

The man who once played Ray Stantz in the original Ghostbusters added that he thought the people who were front and center during the wave of attacks were likely also the same people who would be voting for Trump.

It’s not clear whether the actor knew Yiannopoulos was indeed a vocal Trump supporter or whether Dan Akroyd is just very good at reading people. The former SNL actor had plenty of positive things to say when it came to talking about Leslie Jones.

He told ET Canada that she is a great writer and comedian. He added that he felt as though Jones came from a very urban background and had done quite a bit of fighting to get to where she is today.

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Akroyd is just one of the group of actors, including Eric Idle (of Monty Python fame) and Mia Farrow, who stepped up to defend Leslie Jones. Despite so many supporters rising to her defense, the actress posted she had enough and was leaving Twitter.

“I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart. All this cause I did a movie,” she wrote, according to the New York Daily News. “You can hate the movie but the s–t I got today… wrong.”

At some point, Twitter finally did respond, presumably after the attacks on Jones became too great to ignore. The website apologized for its delayed reaction. It’s a safe bet both Leslie Jones and Dan Akroyd would agree that apology and action were too little, too late.

[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]