Leslie Jones Discusses Her Recent Online Attack & Rises Above the Hate (Video)
Comedienne Leslie Jones has become the unwitting subject of an ongoing conversation about online abuse after she was accosted by social-media users with messages of hate, racism, misogyny, and all-around abuse. Earlier this week, the “Ghostbusters” star began trending online after sharing some of the bigoted and sexually violent messages she was receiving from trolls and by doing so she lent her face to a sickening reality faced by far too many people on the world-wide web. As a Black woman, Jones was subjected to tweets and memes depicting her as an ape, the recipient of perverted sexual acts, and a variety of depraved attacks so vicious that she simply could no longer deal.
In the days since, a conversation about online harassment reached a pinnacle in mainstream news coverage and Jones has returned to Twitter. Yesterday (July 21), she appeared as a guest on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” where she discussed her recent ordeal. After mentioning her “very traumatic week,” Meyers asks Jones to comment on her awful experience. “What’s scary about the whole thing is the insults didn’t hurt me,” she said. “What scared me is the injustice of a gang of people jumping against you for such a sick cause.” Calling the actions of her abusers “gross,” “mean,” and “unnecessary,” the “Saturday Night Live” cast member says that when she approached Facebook about the harassment, “they was on it,” but she had a less successful exchange with Twitter – at least at first.
“Y’all need to get some security,” she says of the social-media giant. After sharing that she eventually met the CEO of Twitter, Jones says “we got a whole bunch of accounts taken off,” a sign that the site is taking seriously the verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse waged by ignorant users. In closing, she makes a distinction between hate speech and freedom of speech, arguing that they’re “two different things,” throwing up double peace signs.
Jones is once again active on Twitter, and Heads can follow her here.