Leslie Jones: Ghostbusters actress hits back at critics
Leslie Jones has hit back at critics who slammed her character in Ghostbusters as stereotypical.
“Why can’t a regular person be a Ghostbuster,” Jones, who plays an MTA worker named Patty in the Paul Feig reboot, tweeted Thursday night. “I’m confused. And why can’t I be the one who plays them I am a performer. Just go see the movie!”
After the debut of the Ghostbusters trailer Thursday, the film was dinged as “problematic” because it appears Jones’ character is the only member of the title Ghostbusters who is not a scientist (the other paranormal exterminators are played by Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon). “I understand this is a reboot of Ghostbusters from 1984 and the new characters mirror their male counterparts,” HitFix editor Donna Dickens wrote. “But it’s been over 30 years and the dynamic of three white scientists and ‘street-wise’ minority is dated.” Ernie Hudson starred in the original film, and was the only non-white member of the Ghostbusters team.
“I look back on Ghostbusters in a very fun way, but it’s got so many mixed feelings and emotions attached to it,” Hudson wrote in a first-person piece about Ghostbusters for EW. “When I originally got the script, the character of Winston was amazing and I thought it would be career-changing. The character came in right at the very beginning of the movie and had an elaborate background: he was an Air Force major something, a demolitions guy. It was great.”
He added, “The night before filming begins, however, I get this new script and it was shocking. The character was gone. Instead of coming in at the very beginning of the movie, like page eight, the character came in on page 68 after the Ghostbusters were established. His elaborate background was all gone, replaced by me walking in and saying, ‘If there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.’ So that was pretty devastating.”
On Twitter, Jones said her character shouldn’t be broken down to a “man, woman, race, class thang.”
“It’s a Ghostbusters thang,” she wrote. “And as far as I’m concerned, we all Ghostbusters!! Stand tall!!”
She also shared a note from an MTA token booth clerk, who said, “the fact that my position as a clerk is the most abused by society, I feel [Jones’ Ghostbusters role] may give us a semblance of humanness.”
“Regular People save the world everyday so if I’m the stereotype!! Then so be it!!” Jones went on. “We walk among Heroes and take them for granted.” Read her tweets below.