The “SNL” alum revealed in memoir “Leslie F*cking Jones” (as excerpted by Rolling Stone) that while she endured racist backlash, she also made “way less” than her co-stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon. The female-led take on the supernatural ’80s classic was directed by Paul Feig.
“It was made clear to me at times during the process that I was lucky to even be on that movie, but honestly, I was thinking, ‘I don’t have to be in this muthafucka,’ especially as I got paid way less than Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig,” Jones wrote. “No knock on them, but my first offer was to do that movie for $67,000. I had to fight to get more (in the end I got $150K), but the message was clear: ‘This is gonna blow you up — after this, you’re made for life,’ all that kind of shit, as though I hadn’t had decades of a successful career already.”
“Ghostbusters” had a $150 million budget, with McCarthy earning $14 million per The Hollywood Reporter.
She added, “And in the end, all it made for me was heartache and one big-ass controversy.”
Jones had to delete her Twitter account for 24 hours at the time of the film’s release as she was receiving heinous messages and there were “multiple attempts to hack” her page. The then-CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, personally tweeted Jones to DM him so that they could work together to protect her account. Jones wrote that Dorsey “was aware that I was being brutally attacked with racial slurs and worse” and “put people on my account to monitor it because someone is always trying to hack me.”
For the trolls, Jones wrote, “I’d tried to fight back — I was a comic — I was used to someone heckling me, so for every piece of bullshit on Twitter I had a reply…I can’t believe anyone would do this shit to someone, anyone, for working. This is awful. I am in a movie. Death threats for something as small as that?”
Jones further reflected on starring in a franchise reboot after original “Ghostbusters” director Ivan Reitman’s son and fellow filmmaker Jason Reitman said on a podcast that his 2021 reboot “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” was “trying to go back to the original technique and hand the movie back to the fans.” Jones called Reitman’s statement “unforgivable” and a dig at the 2016 movie.
“The damage was done,” Jones said, despite Reitman’s later clarification. “Bringing up the idea of giving the movie ‘back to the fans’ was a pretty clear shout-out to all those losers who went after us for making an all-female film.”