Kelly Marie Tran just got a powerful ally in her corner who knows a thing or two about online harassment. “SNL” star Leslie Jones offered some advice to the young “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” actress about how to deal with Internet trolls.
Tran recently deleted all of her Instagram posts following months of racist, abusive comments about her character in “The Last Jedi.” And Jones can relate — she experienced similar treatment leading up to the release of 2016’s “Ghostbusters.” Jones told TheWrap the best thing Tran can do is to “expose the worst of them” and keep a level head.
“When it happened to me, my only goal was to make sure that the worst of them were exposed. To make sure that people knew there were people like that out there,” Jones said in a phone interview with TheWrap. “The one thing I would definitely tell is her f—ing don’t let that s— get to your head for sure. Those are absolute crazy people that are coming at her. They are insane. You can’t listen to insanity. The one thing I would definitely tell her is it should not affect you mentally at all, because they are crazy people. She’s just walking through an asylum right now and she just has to blur out the crazy voices.”
Jones was the subject of sexist and racist online vitriol, which included a hack of her personal website, after she was cast in a female reboot of “Ghostbusters.” In looking at Tran’s situation, Jones reflected on how she might’ve previously handled her own situation differently.
“Now, going back, if I could go back, I probably would’ve made a statement and then just ignored the rest of it, because to be honest, it’s nothing but dogs barking at a parade,” Jones said. “The parade does not stop for dogs that are barking. They just continue to march. That is a getting-through-it-moment, because what’s so f—ed up on the other side is that it changes over on the other side so fast. What I’m realizing about Twitter and Instagram and all that stuff, everyone is going to have their opinion, and since we’ve given them a platform to do it, they’re going to express it whether it’s right or wrong.”
Jones also suggested that Tran take her fight to Instagram and Twitter directly.
“To me, I’m a scrapper. I’m going to always fight,” Jones said. “What I can tell her is first of all, reach out to her people, reach out to Twitter, reach out to Instagram, and make sure they start protecting her. Because that’s what I did. That was one of the first things I did was hit Twitter like, ‘Hey, I’m not supposed to be getting harassed on your site. This is not supposed to be happening.'”