Leslie Jones the Target of Racist Twitter Campaign

leslie jones ghosbusters

The new Ghostbusters movie received a lot of hate long before its debut this past Friday. Some were appalled that the franchise was being rebooted at all, and others took particular issue with the fact it was being revived with an all-female main cast. The trailer for the new film claimed the title of “Most Disliked Movie Trailer on YouTube” after an orchestrated effort by some folks online to downvote the trailer into oblivion.

That hate boiled over after the film premiered, when comedian and Ghostbusters co-star Leslie Jones became the target of a wave of hateful and/or racist tweets that carried on for the better part of the weekend and into Monday night. Many of the tweets seemed to be part of a coordinated attack and, judging by the language and memes populating the comments/avatars of the trolls, the perpetrators were from the 4chan/Reddit crowd. The trolls were incessantly calling Jones a “chimp,” sending her pictures of her photos with semen on them, and re-tweeting a Jones-imposter who was making homophobic remarks in an attempt to spread misinformation about her.

While it may have been best to ignore the deluge of tweets and deprive the trolls of their primary food source (attention), it’s understandable why Jones decided to engage the trolls and defend herself. The content of most of the tweets was so vile and full of mental gymnastics and accusations that it would be hard for anyone not to lash out eventually. To her credit, Jones kept at it for days, calling out the worst offenders and encouraging her followers to report them for their harassment.

She makes a great point in that the only way to stop ugliness like this is to confront it head on and shine a spotlight on it for all to see. Dealing with that much unbridled, anonymous hatred is exhausting, however, and Jones retired from Twitter Monday night dejected.

Here’s hoping that Jones doesn’t let a vocal few dissuade her from what’s usually a great way to engage with fans. Why must trolls ruin everything?

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Bill Tressler

Bill is a writer and comedy enthusiast from New York. An avid gamer and podcast fan, he strives to always toe the line between charming irreverence and grating honesty.
Bill Tressler
Bill Tressler
Bill is a writer and comedy enthusiast from New York. An avid gamer and podcast fan, he strives to always toe the line between charming irreverence and grating honesty.