If you joke about slavery on TV, you’re going to get some backlash.

Leslie Jones, a writer for Saturday Night Live, made her onscreen debut during May 3’s Weekend Update segment. Jones performed a short standup routine about being single. The twist: Jones declared that she never would have been unattached in the days of slavery. In the bit, she calls herself a “number-one slave draft pick” and talks about how she’d be so popular that she’d be popping out babies every nine months. Naturally, these jokes got a few people upset — including Ebony senior editor Jamilah Lemieux, who blasted Jones on Twitter, calling her an “embarrassment.”

So Jones herself took to Twitter Sunday night to defend herself, saying that her comedy came from a place of hurt. “This joke was written from the pain that one night I realized that black men don’t really f— with me and why am I single,” Jones tweeted. “I’m a comic it is my job to take things and make them funny to make you think.”

Watch Jones on SNL below:

Then see what she had to say on Twitter. (Warning: some NSFW language ahead.)

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Bowen Yang
Saturday Night Live

The original late-night comedy sketch show from the one and only Lorne Michaels.

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  • Saturdays at 11:30 PM
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