“Saturday Night Live” comedian Leslie Jones has a message for anyone who has found themselves a victim of online bullying: “Block the evil.”
In an interview with Van Jones on “The Van Jones Show,” airing Saturday at 7 p.m. ET, the standup comedian told the CNN host that she knew exactly how tough it is to be on the receiving end of internet trolling.
In 2016, after the release of a reboot of the movie “Ghostbusters,” in which she starred, Jones threatened to quit Twitter after receiving a slew of hateful and racist messages from online trolls. She documented the onslaught by filling her feed with screen shots of their remarks. In response, fans and celebrities launched their own counter-campaign, using the hashtag #LoveForLeslieJ.
The comedian told Van Jones that, at first, the trolling had rattled her to her core.
“When this stuff started happening … what was upsetting was that it was a bunch of people with evil as their goal. It wasn’t like they were joining together to say some nice things to me. They were joining together in evil. To do something. That’s what upsets me. I was like ‘Oh my God, they’re believing in what they’re sending to me,’ ” she said.
“But let me tell you something about me,” Jones continued, “I don’t let it live there. I know who I am and I know who they are.”
The comedian said she had some advice for anyone suffering at the hands of online bullies.
“If you’re getting bullied right now, please take a second to step back and go, ‘This is not real … this is not a reality,’ because if those people saw you on the street they would not say none of that. Why are you scared of someone that’s hiding behind a keyboard?” she said.
The comedian told Jones that, at first, she had responded to trolls on social media, but had quickly realized that it was the wrong approach.
“That’s what they want. They want that attention,” she explained.
Now, Jones added, she has a new tactic.
“Blocking is my best friend. That’s how I answer questions now. Block!” she said, motioning her hand hitting the keyboard, as the audience laughed.
“Block them, and block them out of your brain. And please, please, you have to talk to yourself and you have to have a conversation with yourself and say ‘Hey, this is not real, this is evil,’” she told Jones.
“Don’t let it in your life.”