Leslie Jones: 'Hate speech isn't freedom of speech'
Leslie Jones was stunned by the injustice of being targeted by a gang of Twitter trolls.
The actress took a break from the micro-blogging site this week after being bombarded with highly-offensive and racist messages online surrounding the release of her new movie, an all-female reboot of 1984 classic Ghostbusters. Appearing on Late Night With Seth Meyers on Thursday night (21Jul16), Leslie admitted that while she has experienced bullying before during her career, it was the amount of comments she was receiving that caused her to take action.
"What’s scary is that the insults that hurt me, unfortunately I’m used to the insults, that’s unfortunate, but what scared me was the injustice of a gang of people jumping against you for such a sick cause," she said. "I mean, everybody has an opinion and it all comes at you at one time, they really believe in what they believe in, and it’s so mean. Like, it’s so gross and mean and unnecessary."
Leslie made the decision to retweet some of the most hateful messages to show people the nature of the vitriol. After that, many people accused her of preventing them from having freedom of speech, but the actress powerfully exclaimed: "Hey, hate speech and freedom of speech - two different things."
After revealing the nature of her cyber bullying, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey got in touch to offer his help to Leslie in dealing with the haters. But Leslie admits it was much easier convincing Facebook to step in than Twitter. However, she is now hopeful that by making a stand, she has raised awareness that this type of bullying does go on - and it needs to be stopped.
"So it was just one of those things, I was like, ‘OK, so if I hadn’t said anything, nobody would have ever known about this. All those people still would have an account," she mused.
Leslie also used the interview to insist that her absence from Twitter was always meant to be temporary. In fact, the actress laughed that she was stunned by the headlines announcing she had quit the site.
"I didn’t leave Twitter. I didn’t leave - I just signed out because I wanted to deal with what was going on. And then I went to bed, woke up the next morning and I was like, 'They said I left Twitter! I didn’t leave!'" she said.
- Cover Media