Comedian, Leslie Jones made an honest attempt to counter social media's forces of ignorance on Monday [July 18], encouraging fans to drown out the hate after her Twitter feed was bombarded with droves of racist comments, photos, and videos. Despite efforts to be proactive in taking control over the situation, however, the Saturday Night Live cast member would eventually succumb to the dejection she exuded in the dozens of tweets and retweets she sent out in response.
"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," Jones wrote before signaling that she'd be going on a hiatus. Jones, who was very much regularly involved among her followers on the network, hasn't returned to post anything, since. "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 s**t I got today... wrong," she closed.
The 48-year-old actress had been signaling that she was the victim of a sudden surge of vitriol, as the hours of the weekend slipped past. It wasn't until just before 1 P.M. on Monday when she announced that she would stop blocking the offensive tweets so that fans may witness what she had been going through, that the magnitude of her circumstance had become strikingly apparent. From being labeled "ugly" and "savage," to being associated with "Harambe" and "Kong," and being called "ape," and "orangutan," fans were met with insults that ranged from sexually explicit to derogatory. She was even referred to as a "n***a," and blamed for the AIDS epidemic. And waves of fans responded to her call for allies to speak louder in her defense, but it ultimately was not enough to keep Jones from taking a mental break.
Jones has not been alone in wading through such recent bigotry. Ever since the premier of Paul Feig's "Ghostbusters" remake on July 15, the film has been forced to adhere to an atmosphere of intolerance over it's ethnically diverse and female-centric casting. The trailer released in the lead up to the movie hitting theaters became the most "disliked" video in YouTube history, receiving nearly 1 million "thumbs down." After catching wind of Jones' experience, Feig started up a #LoveForLeslieJ campaign, which has taken during what by most standards has been a racially divided time in the nation. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded to Jones' call for the company to do more to restrict such content from being generated on the platform, requesting that she reach out to him via DM.