Twitter responds to racist attacks against Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones
Under a barrage of hateful posts on Twitter, Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones said she was “in a personal hell” and urged the social networking service to do more to eradicate abuse.hollywood Updated: Jul 20, 2016 16:34 IST
Under a barrage of hateful posts on Twitter, Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones said she was “in a personal hell” and urged the social networking service to do more to eradicate abuse.
In a series of posts Monday night, Jones said she had been pummeled with racist tweets. She retweeted numerous tweets directed at her with disturbing language and pictures of apes.
Jones said the messages were deeply hurtful and brought her to tears. The Saturday Night Live cast member called on Twitter to strengthen guidelines and for users to “stop letting the ignorant people be the loud ones.”
“I feel like I’m in a personal hell,” wrote Jones. “I didn’t do anything to deserve this. It’s just too much. It shouldn’t be like this. So hurt right now.”
I feel like I'm in a personal hell. I didn't do anything to deserve this. It's just too much. It shouldn't be like this. So hurt right now.— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 19, 2016
The exchanges came at a career high point for the Jones. Ghostbusters, which opened last week in the US, is her first major film role. “It’s like when you think, ‘OK I’ve proven I’m worthy’ and then you get hit with a shovel of (hatred),” she said.
She concluded a string of messages early Tuesday morning. “I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart,” wrote Jones. “All this cause I did a movie.”
I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart.All this cause I did a movie.You can hate the movie but the shit I got today...wrong— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 19, 2016
The tweets caught the attention of Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey, who sent Jones a message asking her to get in touch with him. Twitter later responded in a statement.
@Lesdoggg Hi Leslie, following, please DM me when you have a moment— Jack (@jack) July 19, 2016
“This type of abusive behaviour is not permitted on Twitter, and we’ve taken action on many of the accounts reported to us by both Leslie and others,” said a spokesperson for Twitter. “We rely on people to report this type of behaviour to us but we are continuing to invest heavily in improving our tools and enforcement systems to prevent this kind of abuse. We realise we still have a lot of work in front of us before Twitter is where it should be on how we handle these issues.”
Ghostbusters, which also stars Melissa McCarthy, Kirsten Wiig and Kate McKinnon, has spawned an unusual amount of vitriol online, with many anonymous commenters targeting its female stars. The film debuted with $46 million over the weekend.
Many, however, have come to Jones’ defense, tweeting support for the actress under the hashtag “LoveForLeslieJ.”
For @htshowbiz for more