comScore Leslie Jones: 'Regular People' Can Be Ghostbusters | The Mary Sue

Leslie Jones Believes “Regular People” Can and Should Be Ghostbusters


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When the new Ghostbusters trailer was released, there was some concern surrounding Leslie Jones’ character, Patty, and whether or not she was a stereotype. Well, Jones sees the matter rather differently.

On her Twitter, Jones tweeted out a message she received from a fan who also happens to be an MTA employee. Here’s the message in full:

I received this from a MTA worker:

Hey Leslie, thanks for being you. A question was asked by a news writer about your role on your new movie black actresses. This was my response: I work for the MTA in that role as a Token Boof Clerk and I was happy to see my job, something which provides me with plenty of jokes, a great perspective on society, and a birds eye view of horrible shit that I witness everyday on screen.

(I wished Leslie would have hooked me up…a joke) however, the fact that my position as a clerk is the most abused by society, I feel this may give us a semblance of humanness. That’s what I attempted in my one woman show “Swipe This! My Life in Transit” That glass in the boof have folk thinking I’m invisible, that I’m not a college graduate, and a producer, comedian, writer, actor, etc. I’m a verb. I’m not a college graduate, and a producer, comedian, writer, actor, etc. I’m a verb. I’m not a miserable, neck-rolling, stereotype in civil service

I love my job and I enjoy engaging people with information infused with humor. Leslie is a comedian. She’s a larger than life personality and it’s the first thing we see no matter what role she gets. As she grows, she will be able to tap into all her greatness. I am supporting this movie because I see me. I hope you receive all that’s for you. You looked so cute in the uniform. Congrats Sis.

Something that I always find interesting in conversations like these is that so often we talk about stereotypes, but then frame the alternative in a way that isn’t much better. Ie: why is a black actor playing a black character in a civil servant job “worse” than a black actor playing a black character that adheres to what mainstream white society deems as acceptable? Why is it that white characters get to be flawed, degenerate schlubs, but black characters have to be perfect and “mainstream” (which is often code for white)?

I understand the desire to see black characters on screen that are intelligent and accomplished – but just because someone works for the MTA and knows how to crack jokes doesn’t mean they are’t also a multi-faceted, worthwhile human being deserving of being portrayed in a film. The fact that so many of us jump in to cry “stereotype” over a character like Patty, but the very type of person being depicted rejoices in the portrayal because they finally see themselves on screen is telling.

Jones then took to Twitter herself to express her opinion on the whole thing:

Let’s be honest – we’re pretty much all going to see the film no matter what, right? Let’s rejoice in the fact that someone as talented as Leslie Jones is living everyone’s childhood dream and getting to be a Ghostbuster. We can all reconvene once we’ve actually seen the movie to discuss. M’kay? Cool.

(via Jezebel)

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