Leslie Jones exposes racist trolls on Twitter: ‘You get hit with a shovel of hatred’

Los Angeles premiere of 'Ghostbusters'
While everyone is calling Kate McKinnon the standout on Ghostbusters, I was more charmed by Leslie Jones. She took what could have been a stereotypical character (she was the single non-academic Ghostbuster) and made her believable and funny. That said, the movie had serious script issues as Kaiser mentioned but was fun to watch despite itself.

So Leslie is one of the leads in the summer remake gamerbros love to hate, and she’s also the sole star who’s a woman of color. Wouldn’t you know it, she’s getting racist hate on Twitter, which has had a problem with racism, anti-semitism, death threats and horribly hateful tweets for YEARS. What’s more is that Twitter has done very little to address the problem, even going so far as refusing to comply with anti hate speech laws in France until they’re compelled by court order. (Twitter also has a problem with a lack of diversity in the company, which is probably not incidental.)

Leslie has received some truly disgusting, despicably racist and hateful tweets. So she retweeted them and Twitter responded for comment as they always do, by saying they don’t comment on individual accounts. I’m not going to embed or reprint any of the worst tweets. You can read them on Buzzfeed if you’re inclined. (Other sites, like our friends at Pajiba, have chosen to publish them, which is understandable and can increase awareness. I just didn’t want to see that terrible sh*t anymore.) Here’s this story along with some of Leslie’s responses:

Following a series of racist and offensive tweets, many of them criticizing her appearance, Jones, 48, took to Twitter on Monday to defend herself.

“Some people on here are f—ing disgusting. I’m blocking your filthy ass if retweet that perverted s—. Just know that now b—-es!!,” Jones wrote, adding in additional tweets, “Ok I have been called Apes, sent pics of their asses, even got a pic with semen on my face. I’m tryin to figure out what human means. I’m out.”

However, Jones then decided to stop blocking the trolls so that her fans could “go through my feed yourself and see the bs. You won’t believe the evil. It’s f—ing scary.”

Jones continued later on, tweeting that she now understands why certain celebs don’t have social media, as the hate she’s been receiving is scary.

“You have to hate yourself to putout that type of hate. I mean on my worst day I can’t think of this type of hate to put out,” she tweeted. “I don’t know how to feel. I’m numb. I see the words and pics and videos. Videos y’all. Meaning people took time to spew hate.”

[From People]

Not only did people spew hate at Leslie, someone even started an account in her name, using almost the exact same username and all her photos and posted horribly hateful things as if she was saying them. Just reading her Twitter feed is making me sick to my stomach and I can’t imagine what she’s going through.

When asked for comment, Twitter pointed Buzzfeed to their terms of service.

A representative for Twitter offered the following statement to BuzzFeed News: “While we don’t comment on individual accounts, here’s an explainer on our content boundaries here: https://support.twitter.com/articles/18311

The Twitter content guidelines do say that hateful accounts aren’t allowed, but I checked the Wayback Machine (history of that page) and they didn’t add the section specifically referencing hate speech until December of last year, however prior to that they did have sections about threats of violence abuse in general.

I checked all the accounts which Leslie retweeted and which were shown in the Buzzfeed article, and all but one of them has been deleted, likely because this story got so much press after Leslie called out these scumbags. The thing is, this happens on Twitter ALL THE TIME to everyday people. I’ve had racist crap tweeted at me. Twitter should be taking care of this problem with a dedicated team of people on it 24/7. The fact that it’s still happening to such a large extent shows that whatever they’re doing is woefully inadequate at best and willfully negligent at worst.

American Museum of Natural History Gala

ELLE Hosts Women In Comedy Event

photos credit: WENN.com

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43 Responses to “Leslie Jones exposes racist trolls on Twitter: ‘You get hit with a shovel of hatred’”

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  1. Jenns says:

    Such ugliness. I can’t even imagine creating an account just so I could say such hateful things to another human being.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I actually created an account last night…just so I could say nice things to Leslie. I couldn’t believe what people were saying to her, and I just had to send her some positivity.

      • Vernie says:

        That’s awesome! And, based on what I’ve seen of your posts here, not at all surprising. 🙂

    • annaloo. says:

      Sometimes el so hopeless, and sometimes I feel like we have given all the power to the racists and awful sides of human beings by letting ourselves be affected by this awful trend. No, I could not know what Leslie is going through, but I also feel hopeless that racist and sexist trolling will EVER stop, and doubtful any of these people will be converted to decent people with manners.

      I don’t want to simplify it to just “Sticks and Stones”, bc there’s so much to uncover about WHY people say the things they do, but without a personal paralyzing lazer to shoot out from a keyboard into the head of anyone who sits down to troll, the best offense is a good shield. It takes an incredible amount of personal armor to not be affected by what people say to trigger, but I feel we can protect our sensitivities and our selves by never responding to this garbage, never giving them the attention they want, never giving the satisfaction that they got through in some way. I don’t know how else to do this, but I hope that Leslie does not disappear from the Twitterverse bc I know that my world is better with her in it.

    • annaloo. says:


      As a fan, I am doing an intervention here!

      I want you to stop crying and feeling bad, and I want you to be the QUEEN THAT YOU ARE!

      I want you to get a camera crew, and you get the most expensive champagne you can find, you get that Christian Siriano dress back on, get styled, you lay out EVERY magazine and published article you can find of yourself, you get some of your Hollywood friends and you put on a great film like King Kong or Gorillas in the Mist in the background and you all laugh and REVEL bc you are on top of the world, and these troglodytes are in their mother’s basements sending up tweets on internet that their said mom is paying for.


      When life serves you lemons, ORDER THE FUCKING LOBSTER LESLIE! DO IT!!!!!

  2. Guesto says:

    My heart sank this morning when I heard about this (on R4/UK) and then broke a bit when I read the reality of it. Poor Leslie having to deal with such malevolent ugliness.

    Absolute scum.

  3. QQ says:

    This is so disgusting , so so disgusting

  4. Luca76 says:

    I seriously can’t with this. She’s such an inspiration to me in that she’s just becoming huge in her late 40s, she’s honest and real as hell, she’s also very hilarious. Leave her alone!!!!

  5. Sixer says:

    I despair. I despair. I despair.

    She stood up for herself like an absolutely amazing, resolute person, though. I salute her.

  6. sun says:

    this is so awful, omg

  7. Nev says:

    How tragic. I’m glad there is the Internet to let us know these people are really out there. Keep Slaying Leslie!!!!!

  8. Pinky says:

    I’m glad she shared those tweets instead of blocking or deleting them. Now we know what she deals with…and what Twitter (and their jackass CEO Jack Dorsey) won’t.


  9. Don't kill me I'm French says:

    Leslie,they don’t deserve your cry.They are losers.
    You are better than them !
    Bloke them !

  10. lucy2 says:

    I hate that she’s dealing with this AT ALL, but especially at a time when she should be celebrating.
    Twitter needs to do something, everyone has been saying this for years now.

  11. als says:

    Social media can be good, but it’s mostly bad.
    Most people don’ t even use full sentences to express themselves there, so they express opinions in very short, hateful and ignorant statements.

    Twitter’s policy is pretty obvious, if they won’t find a solution, they are part of the problem.
    I hope Leslie manages to forget this. She should go on a vacation, these people aren’t worth the trouble.

  12. mia girl says:

    F*ck these scumbags. It makes me sick and Twitter needs to get their act together on this crap.

    Leslie – I ❤️ you. You have our support

    • FingerBinger says:

      Twitter , facebook and instagram all need to get their act together. Leslie Jones is not the only celebrity getting harassed.

    • spittair says:

      Meanwhile, Instagram allegedly deleted the rat and snake emojis and mean comments off of Taylor Swift’s posts…

      • Alex says:

        Right? That got me too. Taylor had all the emoji comments deleted and as the snap gate was going down was having trending topics deleted as well.

        But Leslie can’t get outright racists things removed. Add Gabby S from Empire to that list because just a few weeks ago she said the same thing.

        Just shows what money and the right skin will get you

    • minime says:

      It’s mind blowing to see that this happens in such an open way, even to someone who is a celebrity…It’s so wrong and all these social media companies be legally accountable for it.

      Every time I read the comments on any news section on Facebook I feel disgusted with all the sorts of garbage and hate that people are able to spew. It is amazingly frustrating that most of the times you take the time to report a totally unacceptable comment (openly racist/xenophobic) you received the message “We reviewed the comment you reported for displaying hate speech and found it doesn’t violate our Community Standards.” Almost always. I can not imagine what she goes through having this garbage directed at her.

      Shame on you, Twitter!!

  13. Sam says:

    It was part of some kind of organized attack campaign – not just a bunch of random people. Which I’m not sure which is worse – that people will actually come up with the idea of attacking and harassing you and organize a whole campaign around it, or that random people are just that hateful.

    • Blue says:

      It is so disturbing that there is such organized hatred in this world. I can’t imagine carrying around such hatred and meanness in my heart like these people do.

      I can only imagine how hurtful it is to be the target of such vile awful hatred.

      I hope Leslie knows there is much love for her too.

    • PrincessMe says:

      You’re right, it does seem like an organized campaign and it’s so sad. I hope she’s able to block out the negativity that others are spewing at her – it must be hard.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Oh geez to think that it was an organised attack just makes the whole thing that much more sickening. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be bombarded with so much hate.

      Stay strong Leslie! The best revenge is living well.

      • Sam says:

        I’ve been following it and turns out, a Breitbart writer kind of kicked it off (of course he did). He basically trashed the movie and his fans then took to Twitter to start messing with Leslie, who I guess responded, which then set them off more. The original writer then mocked her himself after she reported him, etc. But yeah, it was very much an organized thing.

  14. Goia says:

    I really love this woman. Sad that she has to deal with such @@@holes.

  15. Mia4s says:

    Wow I really wish I had not looked at her feed. Some of those photos?! The people sending them cannot be human, they’re some sort of disease.

    Oh and if I see one more “free speech” argument I’m going to be in jail for punching someone in the face. Right to free speech? Umm which branch of the American government runs Twitter? They are a PRIVATE company. They are CHOOSING to endorse and allow this garbage with their product.

    Seriously, I’m Canadian. I should not have a better understanding of the First Amendment than (apparently) a large chunk of Americans.

  16. eto says:

    My heart hurts. Why are people like this?

  17. Lucy says:

    Those vile scumbags…poor Leslie. No one deserves this.

  18. claire says:

    That wasn’t even a fake account. I was watching it real time. They were editing screenshots of her tweets to say vile anti-semitic, homophobic racist things then circulating them amongst themselves going “omg, can’t believe you just said this.” They’re psychopaths.

    It’s starting to turn out that Trump supporters, crazy racists, misogynists and gamer neckbeards in their mom’s basement have a lot of the same enemies and overlap. Hmmm….

    • Sam says:

      That’s why people are so nuts about getting verified, because then you can prove the account wasn’t you. Twitter needs to make it easier for people to get verified so that stuff isn’t as powerful.

      I also saw how they were editing the screenshots in ebonics, because of course that’s how a black woman would speak. Oh, it was so bad…

  19. nicegirl says:

    We love you, Leslie. Those trolls can suck a d-ck. I am so sorry and saddened to hear of this kind of BS. Although I know folks like that exist, I was sure hoping they would crawl back into their hole. DIS-GUST.

  20. d says:

    I really wish there was a way to show the identities of the people who post such terrible things. THAT is shining the light (#shinethelight). They should be identified; today’s version of the village stocks, which if you ask me, wasn’t a bad idea. You’d think Anonymous would be helpful, but no. Tell you enough about them, doesn’t it.

  21. Tara says:

    So gross… I hope other tweeters were helping fight the hate.

  22. RedOnTheHead says:

    Social media is vile. There is no justification or excuse for this kind of bs. The world is full of nasty, hateful, evil human beings. If you can even call them that. I just wish they didn’t have a platform to spew their crap. It’s reprehensible that the companies running these platforms don’t do more to control content. But why would anyone expect them to? They’re not in this to direct the conversation. They’re in it to make money. Period. No more complicated than that. And no, I’m not giving them a pass. I’m just acknowledging reality.

    Leslie looks fantastic in red and she is wearing that necklace like a boss.

  23. paranormalgirl says:

    That “humans” still behave this way infuriates me.

  24. nica says:

    Leslie is wonderful, and it’s heartbreaking that this is happening. I hope she’s able to walk away from twitter for a bit and enjoy her well-deserved success. I am positive that there are many more people who recognize Leslie’s talent and are happy for her than there are trolls, it’s just that the latter can be the loudest.

  25. TreadStyle says:

    Horrible disgusting people. I saw this last night on Twitter and started going through and helping report people. The things is, while some accounts were deleted, there were sooooo many that probably over half are still there. It’s embarrassing and shameful that the human race can act like this. I hope she saw all the love for her on there fighting against the other.

  26. Erica_V says:

    I scrolled 21 hours back in her feed and still couldn’t figure out what happened.

    But I’m confused was her account hacked? Because you can’t have two user names that are 100% the same. So was that post a hacked post? Is there a fake account?

    Real question because the community of CB is the best – yesterday I tweeted about Kim being trash and was instantly flooded with “wow racist” replies… I meant trash as in gross, smelly, disgusting, ew, etc. Is calling someone “trash” (please note not “white trash”) a racist insult?

  27. Kelly says:

    That is horrible!! I think Leslie Jones is awesome and more power to her!!

  28. mary s says:

    Good for Leslie. I’m sorry this happened to her, but I’m really glad she made the trolls public. It’s frightening how much hate there is out there.

  29. lucy2 says:

    Twitter just banned the a-hole who started it all, he’s a “tech editor” for Breitbart. And apparently a very sad, angry little troll.

    What’s interesting is that they previously suspended his account “a number of times” in the past before permanently banning him now. I think they need a 2 strike rule, 1 suspension to give someone a second chance to behave, but if they violate again, they’re out.