United States – Ghostbusters star, Leslie Jones, publicly defended herself from racist and hateful remarks on Twitter and ended up closing her account.
The new Ghostbusters reboot has been full of controversy. The all-women new cast had been under attack for months now, due to misogynistic fans of the 1984 classic.
Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon have had to endure the vitriol, which even made the trailer the most disliked trailer in Youtube’s history.
The movie managed to earn $46 million in its opening weekend, 46% of it from male viewers, and took the No. 2 spot at the box office (behind The Secret Life of Pets); however, the production budget was $145 million, so the reboot success is still contested.
Even after the movie has been released the cast has been facing hate. This time was Leslie Jones turn, who found herself under a torrent of hate on Twitter.
On Monday night Jones claimed she was “in a personal hell” and began retweeting various tweets that likened her with an ape. Many compared her to the compared her to the gorilla killed in May by zookeepers in Cincinnati Zoo or the video game character Donkey Kong. However, many also tweeted their support under the hashtag #LoveForLeslieJ.
Jones stated the messages brought her to tears and hurt her deeply and then urged Twitter directors to “stop letting the ignorant people be the loud ones” by strengthening the social media’s guideline. Twitter responded by releasing a statement, claiming many of the racist accounts had been closed.
“I use to wonder why some celebs don’t have Twitter (accounts) now I know. You can’t be nice and communicate with fans cause people crazy,” added Jones after she announced she was going to take a break from social media.
The problem with social media
Anonymity on the Internet means many people feel free to unleash the worst in them, feeling secure that there will be no repercussions. This is especially dangerous for minorities and women, who are more prone to be under the attack of so-called trolls.
Many civil and human rights defenders have called for more rigorous control of the Internet, to prevent the hate from spreading and hurting others, while some well-known people have issued their campaigns to show the extend internet hate can reach.
On April 2016, two female Chicago sports reporters, Sarah Spain and Julie DiCaro, joined forces to create a video regarding this problematic. In the video, men read the real comments the women have received on their Twitter accounts, without knowing the content beforehand. The result is both disturbing and depressing.
Jimmy Kimmel, host and executive producer of Jimmy Kimmel Live! have also denounced internet trolls, with a more comedic approach than Spain and DiCaro.
In his very famous “Celebrities read mean tweets” he has musicians, actors, and even President Obama read trolls comments while being recorded as a way to shed light on the internet hate problem.
Sources: USA Today