Trollbuster! Dan Aykroyd Strikes Back at Racist 'Gnats' Going After Ghostbuster Star Leslie Jones
Inimitable comedian Leslie Jones left Twitter this week after she received a deluge of hate-filled tweets commenting on her involvement in the recently released reboot of Ghostbusters. First generation ghostbuster Dan Aykroyd has since come out in defense of Jones, describing her Twitter trolls as “insignificant gnats”.
“They’re losers, they have no lives of their own, they can probably barely pay for the wifi they’re using,” Aykroyd said to ET Canada, continuing the taxonomy, “I would say you’re looking at obese white men between 50 and 60 who are active Klan members or member of the Aryan Nation and there are millions of them.”
Jones herself posted some examples of the racist images and violent threats she received prior to leaving the social network Monday evening.
I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart.All this cause I did a movie.You can hate the movie but the shit I got today...wrong— Leslie Jones 🦋 (@Leslie Jones 🦋)1468905614.0
This latest wave of bigotry directed at the rebooted film franchise is not the first. Following a release of a trailer, a concerted effort was made to boycott the film. The reason? The new Ghostbusters were all women.
Aykroyd went on to compare this group of unmitigated internet haters to another group: angry Donald Trump supporters.
“I’m afraid to say that that contingency will be voting for the Republican ticket, pretty much that’s what the statistics are indicating, that there’s a lot of white racist hatred out there that’s going to channel into a support for the republican ticket, maybe in the false belief that these people share their views.”
Earlier this year Trump himself pretty much confirmed this comparison himself.
Of course lumping together the entire Trump support base is a bit generalized. Instead the “insignificant gnats” in question can likely be narrowed down to a more specific subset. Last year a similar bigoted Twitter attack took place against females in the video game community. Coincidentally “Gamergate”, as it came to be known, shares a common feature with the Ghostbusters and Jones fiasco. Both incidents were incited by the right-wing asshat Milo Yiannopoulos.
In both instances Yiannopoulos, a technology editor at the conservative news site Breitbart, directed his followers’ viral waves of abuse. The difference between the two attacks, however, is that since Gamergate Yiannopoulos’ followers rose from 85,000 to more than 380,000.
Twitter at least finally woke up to Yiannopoulos’ hate-mongering in light of this most recent attack, permanently banning him from the site. The predictable backlash by Yiannopoulos’ supporters, who’ve adopted the hashtag #FreeMilo, are declaring the action a violation of free speech.
To try explain the difference between hate speech and free speech to a group such as this one would be an exercise in futility. Instead, the more rational population of the Internet have since opted for some good old troll-on-troll fun.