Leslie Jones is opening up about the racist and sexist messages she received on social media following the release of her 2016 Ghostbusters film, as well as calling out Jason Reitman for his past comments on the movie.
In her new memoir, Leslie F*cking Jones, the comedian and actress looked back at her career and life so far, including her starring role in the female-led Ghostbusters movie alongside Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy. She also addressed Reitman’s statements in 2019 about the Paul Feig-directed film, calling them “unforgivable.”
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When Reitman revealed that he was directing a sequel, Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021), to his late father’s original 1984 and 1989 Ghostbusters movies, he noted at the time that he was “not making the Juno of Ghostbusters movies,” referencing his 2007 film centered on a pregnant teen girl.
“We are in every way trying to go back to original technique and hand the movie back to the fans,” he added during an episode of Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast.
After receiving backlash, the director took to X (formerly Twitter) to clarify that his comments “came out wrong.” He continued, “I have nothing but admiration for Paul and Leslie and Kate and Melissa and Kristen and the bravery with which they made Ghostbusters 2016. They expanded the universe and made an amazing movie!”
But even after he offered clarification, Jones wrote in her memoir that “the damage was done.”
Jones wrote: “Bringing up the idea of giving the movie ‘back to the fans’ was a pretty clear shout-out to all those losers who went after us for making an all-female [movie].” She went on to recall the “online abuse” that flooded her social media even before the movie premiered, saying she “got taken through the ringer.
“Why are people being so evil to each other? How can you sit and type ‘I want to kill you.’ Who does that?” she added in her memoir. “Sad keyboard warriors living in their mother’s basements hated the fact that this hallowed work of perfect art now featured — gasp! horror! — women in the lead roles. Worst of all, of course, was that one of the lead characters was a Black woman. For some men this was the final straw.”
Jones previously voiced her disappointment in 2019 that Reitman’s Ghostbusters project was ignoring the female-led reboot.
“So insulting. Like fuck us. We dint count,” she wrote on social media at the time. “It’s like something trump would do. (Trump voice) ‘Gonna redo ghostbusteeeeers, better with men, will be huge. Those women ain’t ghostbusteeeeers’ ugh so annoying. Such a dick move. And I don’t give fuck I’m saying something!!”
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Reitman’s rep for comment.
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