She’s in a ‘personal hell’ caused by online abuse
Last weekend, the all-female reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, debuted at the box office, bringing in a $46 million domestically. Although the box office figures were a little light for such a high-profile, big-budget movie, it was far from a bomb. But the film’s lukewarm box office figures may stem from a sexist backlash the film has battled since it was first announced last year. And no one has felt it more than its African-American star, Leslie Jones. Yesterday, the actress revealed the experience has created a “personal hell” for her online.
While the film’s white stars have dealt with sexism, Jones has also been the target of racist trolls who have sent her a never-ending stream of pornography, racist hate speech, and vulgar memes on Twitter. “Ok I have been called Apes,” she wrote on Twitter, “even got a pic with semen on my face. I’m trying to figure out what human means. I’m out.” The unrelenting attacks forced her to quit Twitter yesterday saying, “I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart. All this cause I did a movie. You can hate the movie but the shit I got today...wrong.”
Jones’s decision is another example of the horrible treatment female celebrities are subject to on social media compounded by Twitter’s disgustingly-racist underbelly. Ghostbusters director, Paul Feig, stood up for Jones on Twitter saying, “Leslie Jones is one of the greatest people I know. Any personal attacks against her are attacks against us all.” Feig also started a #LoveforLeslieJ that has been supported by celebrities such as Margaret Cho, William Shatner, and Tim Meadows. Hopefully the love that her fans and friends have sent Jones can bring her back to the online platform by smothering the pathetic perpetrators of hate who drove her away.
Here’s what Jones had to say on Twitter yesterday.