While The GOP Had Our Attention, Leslie Jones Was Being Brutalized On Twitter By Racist Trolls

Before the Republican convention sucked all the air out of the room, the much-anticipated new Ghostbusters film opened. It didn’t do as well as hoped for, bringing in only $46 million over the weekend. But its audience scores are very good so it may just have to get rolling. Of course, the misogyny that met the film’s announcement 2 years ago and dogged it to the present may have had something to do with it. Maybe.

The one thing that nobody anticipated, though, was the racism spewed at one of its stars. Leslie Jones. The actress had made news in the fashion world this spring when she put out a “distress call” for a gown that would fit a tall, zaftig, beautiful black woman. She finally did get her dress — a stunning red, off-the-shoulder gown by Christian Siriano — and looked stunning at the premiere of Ghostbusters last week.

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But some people must have still harbored ill feelings toward the reboot and, on Monday, they went out of their way to let Jones know it. Why they chose to pile on Jones, the lone black actor in the starring quartet, became very clear as the day wore on. These are just some of the hurtful, disgusting things some jackasses felt they had to share

The worst of the bunch was a guy calling himself @Nero. It can’t be proven it but I’m pretty sure that he used a site like LemmeTweetThatForYou to create fake Tweets like this:

Jones was, rightly, horrified that someone was using her name to Tweet stuff like that. Because, sure enough, some people thought she really wrote it:

Jones’ Twitter feed is full of nasty stuff like that. The mistake she made, being new to Twitter, was engaging with the trolls. That’s not to lay any blame on her, it’s just life on the Internet, sadly. She tried very hard but, as many of us know, trolls are cruel and clever little sociopaths. Jones eventually gave up, Tweeting:

Fans and friends came to Jones’ defense. One of them started the hashtag #LoveForLeslieJ, prompting an outpouring of support for the comedian.

Twitter, giving in to demands from Jones’ fans and, in the light of his obvious trollishness, banned @Nero — who turns out to be Breitbart asshole editor Milo Yiannopoulos — from the site. It’s about time they started doing this. Twitter has been criticized many times for its “hands-off” policy when it comes to personal attacks but they seem to be stepping in more often now. Butthurt, Yiannopoulos called his banning “the beginning of the end” for Twitter. As if.

Now one of the original Ghostbusters has come to Jones’ defense. And Dan Aykroyd is not one to mince words. He even brought Donald Trump — his supporters, anyway — into the fray. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight Canada, Aykroyd had this to say about the trolls who attacked Jones:

These people, they’re insignificant gnats, they’re losers, they have no lives of their own, they can probably barely pay for the Wi-Fi they’re using. I would say you’re looking at obese white men between 50 and 60 who are active Klan members or member of the Aryan Nation and there are millions of them. There’s a lot of white racist hatred out there that’s going to channel into a support for the republican ticket, maybe in the false belief that these people share their views.

Aykroyd noted that Trump might not actually believe all the racist BS he’s been spewing but that The Donald might be “saying some things to… get some votes.” Ya think? Then again, maybe he does believe it. Either way, Trump would likely bring some of that racism to the White House if he were to *gag* win.

Twitter can be a great tool, sharing breaking news with lightning speed and helping spread information and support. It can also be a den of wolves, trolls waiting to pounce on anyone they deem weak. The thing is, it is they who are the weak ones. Dan Aykroyd knows this. So do we.

Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

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