Opinion Piece: Leslie Jones Under Attack

As reported in the New York Times, one of the stars of the recent Ghostbusters remake, Leslie Jones, has been the victim of a hacker. Someone hacked her iCloud account and other personal computing devices, obtained a number of personal pictures, some of which were intimate, and took control of her website, posting said pictures. On top of that, they also posted a video of the gorilla Harambe with the obvious racial implications of the video right there for the world to see.

These actions cannot be defended. They are horrific. They are sexist and racist. They are a hate crime if there ever was one. We don’t know who did this yet so we can only speculate as to the motive but after the absurd amount of flack she encountered on Twitter last month after Ghostbusters premiered, I would be shocked if the two incidents were not related in some way.

I am not going to knock anyone who has an opinion of a movie. Whether I agree with it or not is irrelevant because the enjoyment of a movie is purely a subjective thing. The same goes for your opinion of someone’s abilities as an actor, director, producer, writer, whatever.

What I don’t get, what I will never understand, is the need by some people to take their devotion to a certain project like a movie and turn it so evil. Leslie Jones only crime appears to be starring in a movie fans of the original didn’t want to see. To have her personal information and pictures she wanted kept private spread out for the world to see simply because she accepted a role in a movie, I wish I had a way to apply logic as to how that is acceptable. Again, we don’t know motives at this time. It may turn out she has a spurned lover who decided to wreak havoc on her life yet it’s easy to see how a person would think her previous issues with harassers is directly related to this.

The fact is, no one deserves this. The Twitter exchanges, while vile and tasteless, are one thing because freedom of speech being what it is, folks do have a right to say pretty much whatever they want (You can’t scream fire in a movie theater so there are limits). That’s what the First Amendment is about for good or ill. What the First Amendment doesn’t protect you from is the consequences that occur when you say something stupid. Folks that participated in this harassment should be reported and face the appropriate repercussions. We as bystanders can also do more for the victims of harassment by not giving the old standby line of don’t feed the trolls. Support people that are under attack.

Going from saying something vile and racist on social media to hacking her personal website however, gaining access to her iCloud account, and posting racist and nude photos of her, there’s just no excuse here. You can’t condone this. You can’t say someone was asking for this. Would you want your daughter, wife, sister, or mother to have to deal with what she’s going through now? The way you make sure film producers get the point you don’t like a certain film is to not see the film. If a film is a financial failure, it goes away. And in the case of Ghostbusters, the original two films will always be there for you to enjoy anyway. Ruining the life of an actress who was a fan of the original movie and did her best to make this remake work is not the way to show your pleasure for the original. It shows the world you’re a horrible human being who deserves the jail time you are sure to get when you get caught.

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SOURCE: New York Times

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