Ghostbusters’ Leslie Jones defends film after racism row

“Why can’t a regular person be a Ghostbuster?”

Ghostbuster’s Leslie Jones has come out to defend the film after it was criticised for casting her character Penny as a subway worker with ‘street smarts’, while the other three cast white cast members were super-educated scientists.

The rest of the Ghostbusters, which includes Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon, had previously faced backlash for their choice of an all-female lineup.

Comedian Leslie Jones took to Twitter to defend her casting and share a fan who praised the character for bringing a “boof clerk” to the big screen.


Leslie then shared a fan letter which praised her casting for giving prominence to a person working on in a ticket booth in the subway, they wrote:

“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 supporting this movie because I see me.”


Ernie Hudson, who played the only black member of the original Ghostbusters, Winston Zeddemore, had a similar issue with the original films, he told Entertainment Weekly:

“I look back on Ghostbusters in a very fun way, but it’s got so many mixed feelings and emotions attached to it.

“When I originally got the script, the character of Winston was amazing and I thought it would be career-changing. The character came in right at the very beginning of the movie and had an elaborate background: he was an Air Force major something, a demolitions guy. It was great.”

“The night before filming begins, however, I get this new script and it was shocking. The character was gone. Instead of coming in at the very beginning of the movie, like page eight, the character came in on page 68 after the Ghostbusters were established. His elaborate background was all gone, replaced by me walking in and saying, ‘If there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.’ So that was pretty devastating.”