Leslie Jones hits back at online abuse in Emmys skit

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Moya Crockett

Leslie Jones has had a difficult summer. In August, hackers broke into the comedian and actress’s iCloud account, stealing private information and photos – including a copy of her passport, Twitter password, and nude selfies – which were then posted onto her personal website.

The cyber-attack marked the culmination of months of horrifying online abuse faced by Jones, who has been relentlessly targeted by trolls ever since she appeared in the all-female remake of Ghostbusters in July. Much of the abuse the actress and comedian has encountered has been explicitly racist, prompting many observers, including Katy Perry, to condemn it as an example of misogynoir.

At the Emmy Awards on Sunday, Jones publicly addressed the abuse for the first time. And – fittingly, for a brilliant comedian who first found fame on Saturday Night Live – she was able to joke about it. 

leslie jones
Leslie Jones in Christian Siriano at the 2016 Emmy Awards.

Every year, accountants from the firm Ernst & Young are tasked with protecting the Emmy results. After they took to the stage at Sunday’s awards ceremony, envelopes in hand, Jones joined them.

“Let’s be real,” she told the accountants. “Y’all protecting something that nobody is trying to steal. Don’t nobody wanna know about boring Emmy secrets. But since you good at keeping things safe, I got a job for you: my Twitter account. Put that in the vault, please.

“Y’all over here using your skills to protect Best Voiceover in a French Sitcom. Meanwhile, I’m butt naked on CNN,” she continued, to laughter and applause from the audience.

“I just wanted to feel beautiful, y’all! Can a sister feel beautiful?” Jones asked, before striding offstage.

Based on pictures from the night? We’re going to say yes.

Images: Rex Features, Getty


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Moya Crockett

Moya is Women’s Editor at As well as writing about inspiring women and feminism, she also covers subjects including careers, politics and psychology. Carrying a bottle of hot sauce on her person at all times is one of the many traits she shares with both Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton.

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