NEVER BACK DOWN
Leslie Jones Clears the Air: ‘I Did Not Leave Twitter’
On Late Night, the Ghostbusters star publicly addressed the barrage of Twitter harassment.
It was close to 2 in the morning on the east coast Thursday night before Saturday Night Live’s Leslie Jones walked onstage to sit down with Seth Meyers on his post-RNC live version of Late Night. “Yes, baby!” she said, screaming with delight and showing no signs of fatigue, despite what the host described as her “very traumatic week.”
As Meyers explained, the Ghostbusters star became the target of an army of racist, vile Twitter trolls—the leader of which was ultimately banned by the service. Jones said she “hopes” this marks the beginning of a change in Twitter’s harassment policies and had something she wanted to clear up: “I did not leave Twitter,” she said, responding to news reports that quit the social media network to avoid the trolls. “I just signed out, because I wanted to deal with what was going on.”
“What’s scary about the whole thing is the insults didn’t hurt me,” she added. “Unfortunately, I’m used to insults, but what scared me was the injustice of a gang of people jumping against you for such a sick cause… It’s so gross and mean and unnecessary.”
But Jones also thanked Twitter and CEO Jack Dorsey specifically for jumping on things and removing the worst offenders. “It’s like, that’s my favorite restaurant. I love the food there,” she said, using an analogy. “Three people just got shot in front of me. Y’all need to get some security!”
After Meyers played a video montage of fans who stood up for Jones, she thanked them for their support but also had a message for those who accused her of being against freedom of speech. “Hate speech and freedom of speech,” she said, “two different things.”
Jones posted her last tweet in which she said she was “leaving” Twitter on Monday night. But by earlier Thursday evening she was back—with her undeniable sense of humor intact.