5.06.2014

Leslie Jones, what happened?

*blinks* No, really though...what happened?
...This weekend, the joke was on Black women when comedian Leslie Jones, a Black woman herself, made her first appearance on 'Saturday Night Live.'

Jones lamented her lackluster love life and asserted that she would be the "number 1 slave draft pick" by making herself "most useful" and breeding enslaved "super babies."

"Back in the slave days, I woulda never been single," she explained. "I'm six feet tall, and I'm strong. I mean look at me. I'm a Mandingo."

...When Jones describes being matched with another slave to create "Lebrons," "Shaqs," and "Kobes," she is describing the practice of forced breeding wherein enslaved women were treated as livestock. Their enslavers stripped them of any agency over their fertility in order to produce more chattel, and, yes, that means rape occurred routinely.
(Source)
I used to like Leslie Jones; I was watching her all the way back in the 1990s.





I think I finally realized why I stopped. It's been over a decade and Leslie Jones is still deriding her own looks and talking about being single.


18 comments:

  1. This saddens me, because:
    1) It screams self hate
    2) She tries to capitalize upon her own personal issues, which isn't my idea of a sane way to cope with those issues
    3) I know for a fact and from personal experince that to accept yourself, and most importantly, to "know" that other people do not necessarily see what you don't like about yourself when looking in the mirror is very, very difficult, and tiresome. It is basically like fighting against yourself all day everyday...

    So yeah for this one, I don't really know whether to be annoyed, rightly pissed off, or just plain sad.

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  2. Some black comedians have always used black people, black women especially, as the butts of jokes. In the mainstream, the joke is always on us, and many of us laugh at ourselves. It's internalized racism with a punchline.

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    1. I agree. The Chitlin Circuit (Black Vaudeville) is a prime example where black performers were often the butt of their own jokes. It was popular yes, but some material reeked of self-hate. And well before that it was The Minstrels. Incidentally, both Jackie Mason, and Woody Allen (often identified with the Jewish self-loathing stereotype) capitalized on these labels by doing standup, so this is nothing new. We all have different ways of dealing with our self-image so there’s no one-size-fits-all method for addressing it. Our truth is not her truth, neither is our pain her pain. Considering the dismal state of affairs between some black women and black men there are some sad truths in her skit. For many comedians it’s a unique way of self-medicating when oftentimes nothing else will do.

      I’m sure as an intelligent outspoken black woman she thought this out before it aired. Yet in many cases pain and comedy go together like peas in a pod. Our history is full of comedy that oftentimes springs from deep-seated pain. The dramatic-comedy series South Central comes to mind. Billed as a comedy it came off as a dramatic take on the black experience in South Central Los Angeles, complete with a laugh track. Paul Mooney often sank into self-hate montages to communicate certain realities to white people. The Richard Pryor Show, although funny and enlightening, was steeped in black pain. The show was canceled mid-season for obvious reasons.

      Seriously, no one thought it'd be a good idea to try to talk her out of saying something so offensive? NOBODY?

      Remember many whites rely on blacks to gauge what is racist or not. I often think this is why they hire us as writers/tokens. As long as you have the go-ahead from a black writer or cast member then how can it be racist? Better yet, when the material comes from the black performer themselves whites are all too willing to green-light the skit. Now I never cared for HBO’s Def Comedy Jam. I thought it vulgar and distasteful, yet many black people loved it. And that’s the thing, if I didn’t like it I could simply change the channel. You always take a chance in comedy and there will be hits and misses. Which only goes to show how subjective comedy is, for what appeals to one may not in fact appeal to another.

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  3. My issue with this whole debacle isn't so much that Leslie Jones' material is stale, or that she's forever the punchline of her jokes (I've seen overweight comedians who riff on their size the same way--were they to lose the weight, they'd have to scramble for new jokes)...it's that someone *actually green-lit* her script before it went on air. Seriously, no one thought it'd be a good idea to try to talk her out of saying something so offensive? NOBODY?

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  4. Asada :
    humm...not surprising. This is raw for SNL though.

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  5. I am playing arm chair psychologist here, but this dust up just troubles me. I just feel this self deprecating humor is not healthy. She has a poor self image of herself. I just didn't find this funny. It was just cringeworthy.

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  6. * In case I repeated a prior post, please delete it*

    SNL haven't been funny since Eddie Murphy left the show. Each year passes and they get mire desperate with the jokes. I'm sorry, the show sucks.. plain and simple and joking about us doesn't make it any funnier. They may as well throw in the towel because they comedy just isn't there.

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  7. This is a little off topic, but it seems like black celebs are becoming more ratchet and self-hating than usual, at least one would think so if you went to TMZ, another media outlet selling black pathology.

    Leslie Jones would be getting a gig on SNL if her material was about white people. They wouldn't even consider her. The mainstream doesn't want self-respecting black folks doing anything behind or in front of the screen. It goes against their lust for profiting off of black subservience as entertainment.

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  8. Leslie jones is a disgrace, she basically fed into a lot of stereotypes with that skit.she fed into the jezebel stereotype by basically saying she'd be bred like an animal and love it, she fed into the slavery wasn't bad stereotype by saying oh but during slavery i'd have a man, which I don't right now because massa would hook me up with one. she fed into the lazy black stereotype by her saying I don't want to work and pop out kids. She also fed into the masculine black woman stereotype by saying she'd be a mandingo, which is used to describe black male slaves or a black man with a large member, so she basically called herself a man smh.

    and it is a dam shame she thinks being bred like livestock is a lovelife. I guess to some delusional people being raped and used is better than being single.

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    1. "She basically fed into a lot of stereotypes with that skit.she fed into the jezebel stereotype by basically saying she'd be bred like an animal and love it, she fed into the slavery wasn't bad stereotype by saying oh but during slavery i'd have a man, which I don't right now because massa would hook me up with one. she fed into the lazy black stereotype by her saying I don't want to work and pop out kids. She also fed into the masculine black woman stereotype by saying she'd be a mandingo, which is used to describe black male slaves or a black man with a large member, so she basically called herself a man.

      And it is a dam shame she thinks being bred like livestock is a lovelife. I guess to some delusional people being raped and used is better than being single."

      That's what I got out of it.

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  9. Correction - just realized I've been following this woman's career (if you can call it that) for almost two decades. And for almost two decades, she's gone on and on about being big and single.

    I think above all, that's part I'm having the most trouble getting past. Big Les has told - basically - the same joke year after year, special after special, decade after decade...then bitches about being broke and single.

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    1. It's enough to make me think she'd be forced to retire from comedy if she found a relationship that made her feel attractive and desirable, because what would she joke about then?

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    2. Girl...preach.

      And the thing is, I gotta wonder what's going on with her, 'cause she's not ugly. Give her a set of cornrows in accents of bronze and muted burgundy with some lighter and brighter clothes, and she's a belle.

      So either she's not single and just jokes that she is, or she's one of those people who blames the external for the failures of the internal. 'Cause it's been almost twenty years, y'all. At her biggest Mo'Nique went through, what, 2-3 husbands in that time?

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    3. Monique has only been married twice and she is currently with #2 now.

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    4. Yes, but I think the things that Mo'Nique alluded to regarding her 2nd marriage are worthy of their own blog post. They made me think she definitely had some self-esteem issues and that her confidence was an act. Also wondering how she feels now that she has lost a significant amount of weight 2x since being with him (although IMHO, the 2nd weight loss was unnecessary and has her looking sickly and yet still wouldn't qualify her for the sexy girl roles. Has anyone noiced how "once fat, always fat" as far as the entertainment industry goes? Now there HAVE been posts about women who one minute claimed to be proud of their thickness, promptly dieted to Hollywood sized, and haven't worked since, but I mean that a lot of women who have dropped and kept weight off still are the butt of fat jokes/fat hatred despite not being large anymore).

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    5. Right...she had to lose weight the first time for health reasons, right? As for the second time...wasn't that after he slept with another woman?

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    6. I didn't know she lost weight twice, but as for her husband. No I never heard of her losing because he slept with another woman. I know people will make anything up though. Her story was he asked her how much she weighed (can't remember the exact answer, but it was high 200s-she lied about her exact weight) and he said don't you think that is too much. He wanted her around for a lifetime. If he didn't care he wouldn't have bothered. Now I have no idea if that is what really went on, but he was up front. Being thick is fine, but when you are getting near 300 pounds and not Shaq's height there is a problem. Sorry. And I have weighed as much as 262 myself so I know.

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    7. @Lor, since she has her own post, I'm going to respond there, and probably need to Google to demonstrate that no, there was talk of cheating and more than allusion to an open marriage...
      So look for my responses there. I have a feeling I might have to right more than one.

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