Leslie Jones, the Saturday Night Live and Ghostbusters actress-comedian, is again the target of racist and sexist online attacks.
Jones’ personal site was taken offline on Wednesday after it appeared hackers posted explicit photos of Jones and her driver’s license and passport. The hackers also appeared to have inserted a video of deceased Cincinnati Zoo gorilla Harambe and images of Jones posing with such stars as Rihanna, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West.
A spokesman for Jones didn’t respond to messages on Wednesday seeking comment. And Jones hasn’t posted about the incident on social media.
Several celebrities supported Jones on social media Wednesday following the incident. Ghostbusters filmmaker Paul Feig called it an “absolute outrage,” while Girls star Lena Dunham asked followers to “turn our anger at trolls into love for Leslie Jones and into strategies to protect all the heroines who don’t deserve this (expletive).”
What's happening to @Lesdoggg is an absolute outrage. Alt right, haters, trolls, "comedians," whoever the fuck you all are, you're just sad.— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) August 24, 2016
Let's turn our anger at trolls into love for Leslie Jones and into strategies to protect all the heroines who don't deserve this bullshit— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) August 24, 2016
Jones’ SNL cast mates also expressed outrage about the hacking. Aidy Bryant said she was “so angry, disgusted and sad about this racist violent assault on Jones.” Taran Killam said the hackers are “the worst of humanity, where she is the best.”
so angry, disgusted and sad about this racist violent assault on leslie.— Aidy Bryant (@aidybryant) August 24, 2016
"Leaked" (stolen) pictures of famous women are the product of a culture that has made the commoditization of women's bodies commonplace— Langan Kingsley ️ (@thisislangan) August 24, 2016
May many (more) bad things befall the cowards who've attacked my friend, @Lesdoggg. They are the worst of humanity, where she is the best.— Taran Killam (@TaranKillam) August 24, 2016
The celebs’ online rallying wasn’t enough for Rebecca Carroll, author of such books as Saving The Race and Sugar In The Raw. She said people in positions of power need to “go deeper.”
Because for the love of God. // Leslie Jones faces a constant onslaught – because that's how racism works https://t.co/BhGA7cMlO5— Rebecca Carroll (@rebel19) August 24, 2016
“Where is the practical response to this grotesque, debilitatingly mean-spirited violence?” she wrote on theguardian.com . “It’s one thing to offer her digital apologies for others’ racism. It’s another to actually take a stand to help eliminate it from our society.”
Jones briefly quit Twitter last month after facing racial slurs, obscene photos and comments about her appearance. She called on the social networking service to do more to curb harassment on the platform.
Twitter banned several users, including conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, the technology editor of the right-wing site Breitbart News.
Yiannopoulos initially posted Wednesday on Snapchat that “karma’s a (expletive)” but then said “just heard about Leslie Jones” and “ignore that karma thing.”
“I was distressed to hear that Leslie Jones had been hacked and naked pictures of her have found their way online,” Yiannopoulos said in a statement. “I know we had our differences after my review of Ghostbusters, but I wish her all the best at what must be a deeply upsetting time.”
After actively posting about the Olympics on social media, Jones was tapped by NBC to contribute to the network’s coverage of the event in Rio de Janeiro. While in Brazil, Jones stood up for herself and African-American gymnast Gabby Douglas, who was also criticized online.
Ok thank you RIO 2016 you was wonderful but it's time to go man pic.twitter.com/dM7frhaTX3— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) August 22, 2016
Sue Scheff, an advocate for cyberbullying victims and author of Shame Nation, expects Jones to rebound from this incident.
“I think Leslie is a tough cookie and will come back stronger than before,” said Scheff. “I think she should stand tall and be a role model for everyone who has ever faced this kind of abuse. There’s only one way to go — and that’s up.”
In recent years, Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, Kaley Cuoco and Kate Upton have been among Hollywood actresses who’ve had stolen nude images of themselves posted online.
“Ultimately, the only way to prevent this from happening is not to take nude photos,” cautioned Scheff. “If you don’t take them, they can never be shared. There’s no rewind button online.”
TMZ first reported Jones’ hacking.
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