The stars and creators of this summer's Ghostbusters have been dealing with plenty of sexist trolls, or "Ghostbros" as some are calling them, for over a year. It got especially intense and personal towards Leslie Jones when Twitter trolls, including professional blogger Milo Yiannopoulos, attacked her personally using racist terms against African Americans specifically. Now, 1984 Ghostbusters star Ernie Hudson, who cameos with Jones in the new film, spoke to Bustle and lent his support to Jones. Hudson was at a Television Critics Association party for his new Epix series Graves, and I asked him if he's been in touch with Jones since the Twitter incidents.
"I reached out to her," Hudson says. "I sent her a couple e-mails. I haven't heard back from her. This business and how people take this stuff, it's so unreal that people take it a certain way. I'm surprised that happened to her."
In 1984's Ghostbusters, Hudson plays Winston Zeddmore, the only African American Ghostbuster in that version. Zeddmore is only hired by Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) midway through the film. Zeddmore appears in the sequel and was a character in the animated series The Real Ghostbusters (voiced by Arsenio Hall and Buster Jones), and he says he still meets fans dressed as Ghostbusters as recently as the night before our interview.
Hudson never experienced being a Ghostbuster in the age of social media, and it's occurred to him that he might have faced the same treatment Jones has suffered had there been Twitter in 1984.
"Somebody pointed out that maybe if social media had been what it is when I did the first one, maybe I would have gotten the same thing," Hudson says. "I don't know. I was doing a series called Oz and the studio set up a website where you could go and you could comment and follow the show. I one day decided to go on and see what people thought of my character, that I thought was very popular. People said some of the worst things, and I thought, 'Whoa, I can't do this.'"
The Oz message board experience was enough to keep Hudson from reading any further comments, although he does have a Twitter account (@Ernie_Hudson). "So I never follow," Hudson says. "I don't read reviews because you [can] say it doesn't matter. It does have an impact. You have to have a certain
Jones has since returned to Twitter and reported the abusive trolls to Twitter. Twitter has suspended Yiannopoulos' account. Considering Ghostbusters has gotten many positive reviews and has been a box office success, I'd say Jones wins this round. Sorry, trolls.
Images: Hopper Stone/CTMG (1) /Invision (2)