Leslie Jones Talks Twitter Bullying in 'Time' Cover Story: 'I Felt Trapped'
By Raphael Chestang
After Leslie Jones was bombarded by racist tweets that left her in tears earlier this summer, the comedian has opened up about the situation in an interview with Time magazine.
"I was in my apartment by myself, and I felt trapped," Jones told Time about scrolling through the hateful messages she was subjected to in relation to her role in the Ghostbusters reboot. "When you're reading all these gay and racial slurs, it was like, I can't fight y'all. I didn't know what to do. Do you call the police? Then they got my email, and they started sending me threats that they were going to cut off my head and stuff they do to 'N words.' It's not done to express an opinion, it's done to scare you."
"OK, I have been called apes, sent pics of their asses, even got a pic with semen on my face," Jones tweeted in July. "I'm tryin to figure out what human means. I'm out."
Jones received an outpouring of support after calling out her haters, as the Saturday Night Live star's fans and fellow celebrities took to Twitter to ask the social media site to improve its support system to prevent such racist messages from being shared in the future.
"The fake screen grabs of tweets she didn't write are horrific. I've never seen ANYONE'S mentions this bad," Chrissy Teigen tweeted. "I love you, @Twitter. I love you so much. But please get it together. Stand up for your users who deserve better."
Teigen later took full advantage of a new tool on Instagram used to filter out negative comments.
"I'm actually having a hard time filling this filter thing out," she tweeted. "It's like a therapy exercise, typing everything u have ever been called lol."
Time's cover story this week delves into the "culture of internet hate." Columnist Joel Stein explores the issue from both sides: that of the perpetrators as well as the victims. Click here to read the full story.