Leslie Jones Exposes Racist Trolls And Unequal Pay On ‘Ghostbusters’ In Tell-All Memoir
Leslie F*cking Jones: A Memoir reveals actress and comedian Leslie Jones’ truth about the racism and inequalities she faced while filming the all-female version of Ghostbusters.
According to Rolling Stone, the comedian detailed the racist backlash she received and how she was paid “way less” than her co-stars, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon.
“It was made clear to me at times during the process that I was lucky to even be on that movie, but honestly, I was thinking, ‘I don’t have to be in this muthaf*cka,’ especially as I got paid way less than Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig,” Jones wrote in her book. “No knock on them, but my first offer was to do that movie for $67,000. I had to fight to get more (in the end I got $150K), but the message was clear: ‘This is gonna blow you up — after this, you’re made for life,’ all that kind of s***, as though I hadn’t had decades of a successful career already.”
The Hollywood Reporter noted that McCarthy collected a $14 million bag from the Ghostbusters $150 million production budget. Jones wrote that all the movie brought in for her was “heartache and one big-ass controversy,” according to the exclusive book excerpt in Rolling Stone.
Following the film’s release in 2016, Jones was moved to delete her Twitter account after being “brutally attacked with racial slurs and worse.”
Jack Dorsey, who was Twitter’s CEO at the time, was made aware of the online trolls and assigned monitors to Jones’ account.
“I’d tried to fight back,” Jones wrote about the trolls. “I can’t believe anyone would do this sh*t to someone, anyone, for working. This is awful. I am in a movie. Death threats for something as small as that?”
Jones reflected on what she called an “unforgivable” comment made by director Jason Reitman upon making the 2021 franchise reboot Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Reitman said the sequel would “go back to the original technique and hand the movie back to the fans.” Reitman later clarified his statement with an apology to the female leads.
Wo, that came out wrong! 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!
— Jason Reitman (@JasonReitman) February 21, 2019
“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 film.”
Jones told People that writing her memoir was a form of therapy.
“I think I learned the trials and tribulations, how much I’ve triumphed, how much I’ve changed, how much I’ve grown. Just a lot of things,” she said, adding that she had many self-realizations during the process.