Leslie Jones arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of “The Mother” on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at Westwood Regency Village Theater. The comedian recently opened up about the racist backlash she experienced after starring in the “Ghostbusters” film.
Leslie Jones said the racism she experienced because of her role in the 2016 “Ghostbusters” movie made her cry and shut down her Twitter account.
“The weakness of muthafuckas amazes me,” Jones writes in her memoir “Leslie F*cking Jones: A Memoir.” “I cried not because I was being bullied, but because this is our world and because I can’t believe anyone would do this shit to someone, anyone, for working. This is awful. I am in a movie. Death threats for something as small as that? The world was not as rosy as I’d hoped it was. But none of that shit was about me.”
Jones, a comic who got her fame on “Saturday Night Live,” was one of four Ghostbusters, along with comedians Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon, in the all-female 2016 remake of the 1984 original film. In an excerpt from her memoir published on Rolling Stone, Jones wrote that while the all-female “Ghostbusters” had been the subject of online sexism, she received extra abuse because she’s a Black woman.
“... I was the one who got most of the hate,” the comedian wrote. “For a start, sad keyboard warriors living in their mothers’ basements hated the fact that this hallowed work of perfect art now featured—gasp! horror! — women in the lead roles. Worst of all, of course, was that one of the lead characters was a Black woman. For some men this was the final straw.”
Jones said the online abuse got so bad that Jack Dorsey, former Twitter (the platform is now called X) CEO, assigned extra people to watch her account because it was constantly hacked and sent racial slurs.
“Of all the women in [director] Paul [Feig] ’s remake of the movie, I was the one who got taken through the ringer,” Jones wrote. “I wonder why . . . Oh, right, because I was a Black girl. I was being sent films of being hanged, of white guys jacking off on my picture, saying, ‘You fucking n****r. We going to kill you.’ Why are people being so evil to each other? How can you sit and type ‘I want to kill you.’ Who does that?”
Jones also revealed that she was initially offered $67,000 for the movie but negotiated to get $150,000. She added that the sum was still less than what McCarthy and Wiig were paid for their roles in the film.
When Jason Reitman directed the 2021 movie “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” Jones stated it was “insulting” and that it “completely ignored the fact that there had been an all-female version.”
Jones posted on Twitter at the time: “So insulting. Like, fuck us. We didn’t count. It’s like some- thing trump would do. (Trump voice) ‘Gonna redo ghostbusteeeeers, better with men, will be huge. Those women ain’t ghostbusteeeeers’ ugh so annoying. Such a dick move. And I don’t give a fuck I’m saying something!!”
The actor’s new memoir, which has more candid bombshells, is available now.