Dan Aykroyd Compares Leslie Jones Haters to ‘racist’ Donald Trump Supporters
In coming to the defense of “Ghostbusters” star Leslie Jones, the recent target of racist and offensive tweets, Dan Aykroyd said the tweets’ authors are probably Donald Trump supporters, obese white men and active members of the Ku Klux Klan or the Aryan Nation.
“These people, they’re 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 in a recent interview with ET Canada, according to People. Aykroyd is the creator and star of the original and beloved 1984 “Ghostbusters” film and is an executive producer for the female-led reboot, starring Jones, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon.
Aykroyd continued, “I would say you’re looking at obese white men between 50 and 60 who are active Klan members or members of the Aryan Nation and there are millions of them.”
Jones, a comedian and “Saturday Night Live” cast member who is African-American, faced an onslaught of online pornography, hateful memes and racist speech after the film was released July 9. Twitter users insulted the 48-year-old actress’ appearance and compared her to primates, including Harambe, the male gorilla who was shot dead in May at a Cincinnati zoo, the New York Times reported.
In a series of tweets Monday, Jones defended herself, saying, “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 (expletive) I got today...wrong,” she wrote.
Aykroyd joined the film’s director Paul Feig in coming forward to support the actress.
“Well first of all she’s a great writer, great comedian and comes from a real urban background where she had a lot of hardship and she’s channelling that into a great achievement and a great career,” Aykroyd said. Like Jones, Aykroyd got his big break in entertainment as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live.”
Aykroyd surmised that the haters are probably voting the Republican ticket in the presidential race, according to People.
“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,” he continued.
But he sounded like he wanted to be careful to not call GOP presidential candidate Trump and vice presidential nominee Mike Pence “racist,” or as “racists” as Jones haters.
“Trump may be saying some things to go that way to get some votes but -- well I don’t know,” he said.
Feig used the hashtag #LoveforLeslieJ to send message of support for Jones, which was also used by other celebrities, including Margaret Cho and William Shatner, the New York Times said.
Twitter also announced Tuesday that it would suspend many of the accounts identified by Jones and others as posting harassing comments.
“We rely on people to report this type of behavior to us, but we are continuing to invest heavily in improving our tools and enforcement systems to prevent this kind of abuse,” the company said in a statement.
Martha Ross provides celebrity commentary for the Bay Area News Group. Follow her at twitter.com/marthajross .