To the perpetrator(s) of the Leslie Jones hacking scandal, a word, if you please: Stop.
At this point, you must feel pretty proud of yourself. Because of your actions, a woman who you will probably never meet has been horribly and horrendously exposed. Because of you, the truly beautiful, wonderful, and talented Leslie Jones, who has expressed time and time again that she wants nothing more in her life than to make people laugh, is probably not laughing at all. In fact, she’s probably more hurt than she has ever been in her 48 years on this Earth.
Just two months ago, Leslie Jones was the target of an incessant online harassment campaign all because certain individuals, including Milo Yiannopoulos, a gay man who knows first-hand what it’s like to be targeted for a life aspect out of his control, didn’t like that a black woman took a role in the Ghostbusters remake (he’s spoken out on today’s matter as well, but since he still doesn’t have a Twitter account after being banned, no one cares what he has to say).
That movie, in spite of the hate it and all of its leads received, helped to transcend Leslie Jones’ star level from one of a common Saturday Night Live player to a full-on entertainer of stage and screen. Her face and name went from one entertainment medium to being almost everywhere, from posters to action figures bearing her likeness, and wax creations made in her image at Madame Tussauds’ in New York City. Hate her or love her, you just couldn’t get away from Leslie Jones, and you never will.
After experiencing what is surely one of the roughest parts of being a notable celebrity in June, Leslie Jones took a break from Twitter to get away from racist connotations and comparisons to a dead gorilla. In her absence, fans opened their hearts and made sure that despite the hate that was coming her way, there was much more love for her.
The hashtag #LoveForLeslieJ trended on social media for several days and continued to do so when she made her way back to the social media haven later that week. That love would be exemplified tenfold when her enthusiasm for Team USA at the 2016 Summer Olympics allowed her an opportunity to witness the games first-hand in Rio and personally interact with her favorite athletes.
On this very day, the same day that you decided to try to beat Leslie Jones down again by attacking the fact that she loves the skin she is in, several media outlets fought back in powerful, albeit mostly unspoken, ways.
All of those pictures you stole from her? Not one of them have turned up on any of the major celebrity news sites. TMZ hasn’t posted them, E! Online refuses to link to them, Perez Hilton is staying far away from them, and Bossip, one of the biggest urban entertainment entities on the web, has more or less stated that you, for lack of a better term, “ain’t s**t.” What you leaked has been quickly capped, effectively ending your moment in the sun and once again, creating a wall of support for one of the sweetest, genuine, and most awesome celebrities of our time.
Do you not get it yet, or does it have to be broken down even further for you?
No matter what you or anyone else who hates, mocks, attacks, or demeans Leslie Jones, you will not win. It just won’t happen. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all. After her anger, disgust, and sadness subside, she will rise once again and continue to show you and everyone else that she is not going to hide away in the corners of the entertainment field simply because you believe that someone like her shouldn’t be successful.
Leslie Jones is winning, and she will continue to do so.
For starters, Entertainment Weekly recently confirmed that she will be returning to Saturday Night Live for its 42nd season, which means that she’ll still be on television every single week. As for the big screen, Leslie just completed voice-over work for the upcoming animated film Sing and will be teaming up again with Ghostbusters co-stars Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon for Masterminds, which is currently set for release in September. And also, with Game of Thrones returning to HBO in 2017, she will surely find herself being positively recognized once again for her enthusiastic Twitter reactions regarding the series.
In short, Leslie Jones is still winning, and nothing anyone can do will stop that. I do hope you’re able to hold onto that bit of satisfaction you had when you exposed her once you find yourself being charged to the fullest extent of the law. It is a felony to do what you’ve done, and I’m sure that Leslie Jones will win that case against you, too.
Now, don’t you wish you would have stopped hating Leslie Jones when you had the chance to?
A fan of Leslie Jones
[Photo by Blair Raughley/Invision/AP Images]