Dear Leslie Jones: Let This Open Letter of Support Help Erase All That Twitter Hate

Many people have been bullied at some point in their lives. Whether it be by a classmate, a coworker, a family member, or a stranger, it hurts no less. And those unkind words still sting -- and they stay with you for what feels like forever. I hope, though, that you, Leslie Jones, are eventually able to rid the awful vitriol that you have received -- and received so horribly for no apparent reason at all. You’ve been viscerally attacked on Twitter, and the amount of hate that’s been spewed toward you is disgusting, alarming, cruel, and just plain evil. One thing is certainly clear: The Internet trolls need to take several seats and leave you alone. 

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Why are you being targeted?

Oh, because you simply dared to be a leading lady in the newest, all-female reboot of Ghostbusters.

Does that make any sense to you? Clearly not. Us either.

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We know that a small segment of the original fan base didn’t want this female version to see the light of day. (We’re not sorry that it happened, and I’d bet you aren’t either.) But loyalty to the original film or disliking a remake is no excuse for anyone -- fanatic or first-time viewer -- to personally attack you in any way, shape, or form.

I applaud you for standing up for yourself and responding to the haters on Twitter and expressing your sheer hurt over the backlash. People should know the impact of their words. You’re not having it, and neither are we.

You’ve been dragged through the virtual mud. On Twitter, your account was hit with a string of racist tweets along with other offensive remarks and vulgar comments about your appearance. And, of course, these sad users didn’t stop at 140 characters. They’ve also created some pretty disturbing memes, and it looks like someone may have even hacked or created a fake account and posted offensive tweets under your name. But you, Leslie, already know this.

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This is simply unacceptable.

But you are not alone in the fight against these bullies. Ghostbusters director Paul Feig as well as fans are making sure that you know it. When Feig tweeted, "Leslie Jones is one of the greatest people I know. Any personal attacks against her are attacks against us all. #LoveForLeslieJ @Lesdoggg," it resonated with your true fans. #LoveForLeslieJ began trending because they (and we) have so much respect for you.

No one should be criticized like that, especially you. You are a successful comedienne, writer, and actress (with a college education to back it up). You’re a role model who has performed on stage as well as the big and small screens -- from Def Comedy Jam and Saturday Night Live to Ghostbusters. Your story is inspiring. You’ve overcome trials to get to where you are, and no trolls are going to stand in your way. 

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You shouldn’t have to have a trending hashtag to drown out the negative comments (many by anonymous cowards), because you really shouldn’t receive hate at all. And just because you accepted a part in a movie?

People can think whatever they want about this rendition of the film, but they need to stop the madness. Please! The Twitter abuse is ugly and uncalled for. You don’t deserve it. Keep strong. Keep fighting, and don't let this hate dim your smile. Because, I know that you ain't afraid of no trolls.

#LoveForLeslieJ.

 

Image via Xavier Collin/Image Press/Splash

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