Yesterday, it was widely reported that new Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones quit Twitter after a series of racist attacks and non-stop bullying. Now, original Ghostbusters creator and star Dan Aykroyd has stepped forth with some harsh words for Jones' tormentors. The comedian was speaking with Entertainment Tonight Canada, and had this to say about Leslie Jones, praising her work.
"She is a great writer, a great comedian. She comes from a real urban background where she had a lot of hardships. She is channeling that into a great achievement and a great career."
That was very nice of Mr. Aykroyd. But the usually sweet natured man became rather heated in his next exchange, delivering a signature Aykroyd tirade that you might expect to hear come from one of his more verbose characters such as Dragnet's Joe Friday. He is obviously disgusted at some of the behavior that has gone on. Impassioned, he had this to say about Jones' online haters, who have turned her life into what Leslie calls a "personal hell".
"These people. First of all, they're insignificant gnats. They're losers. They have no lives of their own. They can probably barely pay for the Wi-Fi they're using, probably [have] no jobs. I would say you're looking at obese white men between 50 and 60 who are active [Ku Klux] Klan members or members of the Aryan Nation[s], and there are millions of them. There's a lot of white racist hatred out there that's going to channel into support for the Republican ticket - maybe in the false belief that these people share their views. I don't think that Trump and [running mate Mike] Pence are as racist as the people who attacked Leslie Jones, I really don't. You know, Trump may be saying some things to go that way to get some votes but I don't ... well, I don't know."
It's interesting that Aykroyd, a Canadian, would suddenly switch to drawing a connection between Jones' online attackers and Donald Trump. Jones exited Twitter because of non-stop bullying, which included racist comments and very mean-spirited name calling. Fans and other celebrities have rallied around Leslie Jones, who started as a popular stand-up comedian before becoming a writer on SNL, eventually transitioning into an official Not Ready for Prime Time player. The hashtag #LoveForLeslieJ spread amidst hate-filled tweets that attacked Jones on everything from her race, her deceased brother, and the dark color of her skin. Some of the crueler posters used a photo of an Ape to represent the actress. Leslie Jones' final tweet read as such.
"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 shit I got today...wrong."
Leslie Jones' Twitter account is still up, but not active at the moment. The actress was also at the center of controversy when the first Ghostbusters trailer arrived, with people calling her character a racial stereotype because she was a subway toll worker and not a scientist. The actress was very vocal at the time, and stood up for her character and the decisions made by director Paul Feig. It does not appear that Leslie Jones will return to social media anytime soon. But she could always change her mind. You can watch Dan Aykroyd's interview in the embed below courtesy of Youtube.