How dare she be successful, talented, rich, outspoken, and unapologetically black?
These are the issues facing one of the biggest sensations in Hollywood the past year and Leslie Jones has only just scratched the surface of how far her star will rise as racist slants attempt to topple the trajectory before it reaches its peak. And as the latest reincarnation of the right tries to bring her down, she is laughing all the way to the bank, the podium, and on to your movie screens.
How much more is necessary to read or see before it is fully understood that what is happening to Leslie Jones is racism, pure and simple? The latest incident involves her website being hacked, her nude photos leaked, and racist images uploaded that include images of a gorilla.
Leslie Jones, at the end of the day, is a brilliant woman, and no matter what happens next make no mistake: she will get through this and be stronger with each jeer. So to the hackers, haters, and other less-thans attempting to pummel Leslie Jones to the ground, the writing is on the wall and the message is clear that she is on the rise in ways they never could have predicted.
Perhaps Jones is being attacked because she has stood up for other high profile black women that have been dogged in the press, most notably Olympian Gabby Douglas, who Jones championed as just that – a champion during her performance in Rio. What Leslie Jones has shown throughout all of this is that it takes a big cup of self-love to wade through these attacks with head held high, integrity intact, and the comfort in knowing that it is possible to rise above the fray. But we’ve seen this before in Hollywood: when they have choice words for black women that don’t fit their mold of what beautiful is, so it’s not exactly new and it won’t be the last.
Case in point?
Whoopi Goldberg, herself slammed by critics for years long before social media, had to go through the same criticisms as a talented black woman who did not fit the mold of what the mainstream felt acceptable. To those naysayers then and now, Goldberg has continued on, regardless of the vitriol slung her way and emerged as an Emmy-Grammy-Oscar-Tony winner and a multimillionaire. Those spewing hate at Leslie Jones now are only making her more of a household name. So, carry on, haters because this is the best publicity EVER.
Although we are sure Ms. Jones doesn’t need our support after enduring La La Land and the stand-up comic circuit for more than two decades, we are here to let her know that she has it.