Leslie Jones, actress and one of the stars of the recently premiered “Ghostbusters” reboot, announced on her Twitter account earlier this Tuesday that she will be leaving the social media site. Image Credit: Mirror

Leslie Jones, actress and one of the stars of the recently premiered “Ghostbusters” reboot, announced on her Twitter account earlier this Tuesday that she will be leaving the social media site following an extensive campaign of hateful, racist and sexist comments against her.

The decision comes after a long online battle with trolls who have made the SNL cast member their personal target, calling her racial slurs, comparing her to animals and even dehumanizing her by sending her sexually inappropriate content.

Despite being the primary target of these attacks, it is not only Jones who is on the receiving end of the intolerant words typed by hundreds of users in the social network.

“I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart. All this cause I did a movie” said the comedienne in the last message sent from her account.

Ever since the announcement of the reboot of the ‘Ghostbusters’ film with an all-female cast, the decision has sparked controversy and discussion all over the internet, often converging in heated arguments about race and gender.

The film stars SNL cast members Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, along with former cast member Kristen Wiig and comedian Melissa McCarthy as a team dedicated to catching ghosts in the city of New York, much like the original movie.

The stellar cast of the film and the film itself were quickly shadowed by the online backlash of a confused audience and online community, seemingly outraged by the mere conception of rebooting one of the most famous and treasured cult films of the 80s. It is evident now that the issue was not with the story, which indeed takes some creative license over the original film, but with the cast itself, their gender, their race and their portrayals.

The Road to Hell

‘Ghostbusters’ has been controversial since day one and the road to the premiere was not going to be any different. Relatively mild discussion was all there was for a couple of months but said mildness quickly gave a sharp turn once the official trailer came out.

Back in March when the trailer was uploaded to YouTube, it took merely a couple of months to become news when it became one of the most disliked videos in the history of the online video platform.

Traces of a concerted effort or campaign against the film could already be noticed back in May. Currently, it holds a position among the top 10 most disliked videos on YouTube with nearly a million dislikes.

Leslie Jones, actress and one of the stars of the recently premiered “Ghostbusters” reboot, announced on her Twitter account earlier this Tuesday that she will be leaving the social media site

Detractors of the movie accused critics of giving the movie favorable reviews for the sole fact of starring an all-female cast, instead of objectively expressing their perspective on the film; claims that were sustained based on scores of online sites such as Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB.

After the premiere of the film, the online vitriol focalized on the stars of the movie and particularly on Leslie Jones, whose presence on social media is more than significant.

‘Ghostbusters’ has grossed over $40 million at the box office, yet the headlines have been stolen by Twitter trolls and their actions, which have finally taken its toll on the star of the blockbuster.

“I feel like I’m in a personal hell. I didn’t do anything to deserve this. It’s just too much” she said in one of her last couple of tweets.

Twitter… Busted?

Offensive words and actions tend to be louder and more impactful than supportive ones, but there are always those who are willing to stand up for others amidst the turmoil.

Among all the misogynist and racist comments aimed towards Jones, ‘Ghostbusters’ director Paul Feig was one of the firsts to speak out against the trolls. Feig created the hashtag #LoveforLeslieJ to show his support for the actress and was quickly echoed throughout the network by users and celebrities alike.

Several personalities like William Shatner, Anna Kendrick, Olivia Munn, Margaret Cho and Jada Pinkett-Smith voiced their support for Jones tweeting messages with the hashtag.

Meanwhile, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey reached out privately to Ms. Jones on Monday night to address the situation and possibly provide a solution to the problem. The ‘microblogging’ platform has a strict set of rules and policies that have been revised and reinforced after previous incidents such as this have happened in the past.

In light of the events involving the ‘Ghostbusters’ star, Twitter has issued a statement in which they acknowledge the fact that they are not quite “where it should be on how we handle these issues”.

Mr. Dorsey’s attempts seem to have been unfruitful, given that Leslie Jones has not yet tweeted since earlier today. Leslie Jones is certainly not the first person to quit from the social media site after an abusive experience, but it remains to be seen if her hiatus will be temporary or definite.

Source: The New York Times

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