Intro for August 25, 2016
It was reported yesterday that Ryan Lochte is negotiating a deal to appear on the upcoming season of Dancing With The Stars. So, you know, he may have lost several sponsors this week, but there are many people out there who don’t think that what Ryan Lochte did was that big of a deal. And, more importantly, many people who believe that even though Ryan drunkenly pissed his way into a lie in Rio, causing an international incident, he deserves all the chances. So, again, as I said earlier this week, nobody needs to f-cking worry about Ryan Lochte. That is the privilege of being Ryan Lochte.
But what is the privilege of being Leslie Jones? Does she get to enjoy any privilege? Leslie Jones was in a movie called Ghostbusters. Then she was attacked on Twitter, with racist assholes comparing her to a gorilla, smearing her timeline with bullsh-t. But Leslie bounced back after that and went to Rio, becoming the best Olympic cheerleader in the age of social media. While in Rio, Leslie did not urinate on the walls of a gas station and “whatever” her way through an interview while selling out her teammates. It was an exhilarating experience for her. She supported the athletes, she supported her country, and people loved her. They ADORED her.
Maybe that’s what she did wrong. Maybe, in being herself, and earning the admiration of so many, she broke the rule, the rule that says that a black woman who won’t conform can’t be popular and successful while being proud and outspoken. And the assholes who uphold that rule, who cling to the existence of that rule because otherwise the system that unfairly favours them would start to crumble, had to punish her for it. They tried to humiliate her for it. They wanted to humiliate her for having the audacity to aspire to more. How dare she create opportunities for herself? How dare she want more than what’s been institutionally limited to her?
And, most importantly, what would happen if there were more Leslie Joneses?
THAT is the great fear, isn’t it? So for those of you who’ve emailed to ask why, why did that happen to her? What did they do that to her? Because they weren’t just hacking Leslie Jones. They were hacking the hope that Leslie Jones represents, sending a message to others who might hope for the same. They were trying to kill the hope that Leslie Jones represents. This was an attack on equality.
Yours in gossip,
Michael Loccisano/ Getty Images